By Lisa Britton For the Baker City Herald
For Robin Harrington, 30 seconds is a lifetime when she’s watching her daughter in the throes of a seizure. “You don’t think 30 seconds is long, but when your kid is turning blue it feels like forever,” said Harrington, who lives in Baker City. Her daughter, Natasha, 21, suffered her first seizure eight years ago. “I found her but didn’t see her have it,” Robin said. Natasha’s initial diagnosis was migraines, then later it was determined she had a type of epilepsy. Robin said they first tried natural treatments. “We thought it was related to dehydration, and food maybe,” she said. A year ago Natasha was diagnosed with Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that is difficult to treat. She’s tried 20 different medications, and combinations of those, to alleviate the chance of seizures. “At one time she was taking 26 pills,” Robin said. Natasha suffers from various types of seizures, including grand mal, which can cause loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions. Robin said her daughter has had concussions and staples in her skull as a result of falls during a seizure, and her body carries scars from those episodes. “Her back looks like she’s had surgeries, it’s so scarred from falls,” Robin said. Natasha will turn 22 on Oct. 31. She cannot live alone due to the danger of a fall. “I’m here for only a couple hours at a time before I go check on her,” Robin said. “She can’t hold a job — it’s too dangerous.” Robin works at Serenity Salon and Spa in Baker City; her husband, Nolan, works for a building contractor. The Harrington family is raising money for a service dog that would alert Natasha before she had a seizure. Robin said these dogs are specially trained to sense chemical and heart rate changes and then signal their person, who can lie down or sit in a safe place. Service dogs such as this cost as much as $40,000. The Harringtons are looking to raise $12,000 to $15,000 to cover travel and training with the dog. This Sunday will feature a fundraising concert in Geiser-Pollman Park as part of the Powder River Music Review. Musicians are lined up to play from noon to 8 p.m. All are volunteering their time. Here’s the schedule: • Noon: Marv Sundean • 1 p.m.: Robert and Doc • 2 p.m.: Gloria Kandle • 3 p.m.: Nancy Ames • 4 p.m.: Coyote Joe • 5 p.m.: Michael Porter • 6 p.m.: Salt Lick 39 • 7 p.m.: Jam See more in the Aug. 30, 2017, issue of the Baker City Herald.