Trysten was born in Houston, Texas, in July 2001. He is 17 years old, attends Ball High School on Galveston Island and lives in Galveston County, Texas, with his mother. Trysten travels to visit his father in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, during the holidays and summer break.
Trysten’s story of epilepsy begins with a diagnosis of Grand Mal-Tonic Clonic Seizures and a heart condition, Sinus Arrhythmia, at age 12 in August 2013 while visiting family in Huntsville, Texas. After his diagnosis, he found that having epilepsy was not easy to talk about with others which left him feeling alone and excluded. After spending three weeks in the hospital and being told to hide his condition to keep from being held back in life, he and his mother decided it was time to make a difference by raising awareness. It was time to talk about it!
In February 2014, Trysten became one of the co-founders of the Galveston County Epilepsy Awareness Support Group, in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation Texas, Houston/Dallas-Fort Worth/West Texas. The group has more than 100 members to date. Trysten realized he is not alone, he is 1 in 26.
By October of that same year, at age 13, he established the UTMB Epilepsy Fund at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. This fund supports Dr. Todd Masel’s Epilepsy Program in the Department of Neurology. Trysten hopes to someday see Galveston County build a Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit so that children like him do not have to travel outside the county for this service.
With November being “National Epilepsy Awareness Month”, he worked with the city of Galveston on a 2014 proclamation from the mayor to recognize this special month of awareness.
As an advocate of the Epilepsy Foundation Texas - Houston/Dallas-Fort Worth/West Texas, Trysten has delivered 30 presentations since his diagnosis through his Boy Scout Troop 192 - Galveston on First Aid in Epilepsy, with his largest crowd to date being 66 Rotary Club members.
Trysten has a heart as big as Texas with a great passion to help others and wants you to know that, regardless of epilepsy, he still enjoys his love of swimming, fishing, camping, and sailing. This condition will never slow him down as he travels and sails through life!
Trysten Johnathan Pearson