Pittman releases statement about wreck

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Editor’s Note: following is a statement issued by Polk County Interim County Manager Marche Pittman following a wreck he was involved in at the corner of Mills and Courthouse Streets in downtown Columbus on the morning of Monday, Feb. 17. Pittman suffered a seizure and knocked down two power poles in the accident.¬†

I was diagnosed with Epilepsy when I was a child. I went through a long time of trying to hide who I was and what I had, afraid it would cost me an opportunity or a life that I wanted. After my accident on Monday, I am not running from who I am (or what I have) any longer.¬†People without Epilepsy cannot understand the constant fear of having a seizure or the social stigma that goes along with it. Even when you had been without a seizure as long as I had, people still treat you differently when you tell them your “secret.”
I have been without a seizure since 1998 and my neurologist advised me that it would be in my best interest to see if I could make it without the medicine….since the medicine itself causes problems for the people who take it long term. With that knowledge (and the doctor’s guidance and recommendation) I started to taper off of the medicine in September. I had no problems and finally completely went off the medicine in January.
Last Monday morning, I remember picking up a breakfast sandwich at McDonald’s and the next thing I remember is waking up in the back of the ambulance talking to Michael Crater, the Director of EMS on the way to the emergency room. Had it not been for God above and some very quick thinking and acting emergency responders, I probably wouldn’t be here right now. I want to thank all those responders for how well they did their job that day. I also want to apologize to the people who witnessed the wreck and suffered as a result of it. I wouldn’t intentionally hurt any of you for anything in the world.
If I would have died that day, and I were forced to look back on my life, I would have several regrets. I regret spending a better portion of my life in fear because of a condition that I have no control over. I regret not doing anything to help spread the message that organizations (like the Epilepsy Foundation¬†www.epilepsyfoundation.org) are trying to get out about this condition and what it can do to the millions of people who are afflicted with it. I regret letting the small things in life consume me to the point that I can’t appreciate everything and everyone around me.
Knowing my regrets…it is much easier to pledge changes in my future. I pledge to help more with the Epilepsy Foundation and their efforts here in Polk County. I pledge to be an ambassador for all the people who have Epilepsy…especially those here in Polk County. I pledge to not get caught up in the small things and intend to appreciate every opportunity and person around me.

– Marche Pittman
Polk County citizen

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