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"He knows exactly what she's going through" | Former neurology patient now treating kids with seizures

Jason Cox has spent about 17 years in the field of Neurodiagnostics with Norton Healthcare. It's his way of 'paying it forward' after the care he received as a kid.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — It’s one thing to have a friendly face with you during your hospital stay and another to have someone who can relate to what you’re going through. Fortunately, for kids at Norton Children’s Hospital, there’s someone who’s both. 

Jason Cox is a Neurodiagnostic Technologist. He uses specialized equipment to monitor how well a patient's nervous system is functioning and identify neurological problems. 

"We’re able to read their brainwaves and it pinpoints us to where the abnormal activity is, if there is any," Cox said.

He's a familiar face to patients and their families on the 5th floor, like 8-year-old Arya and her mother, Maureen Sixbury.

Arya was diagnosed with Epilepsy when she was 5-years-old. Some days she’d experience 9 seizures while other days topped out at 30. But that’s no longer the case with the surgeries she’s undergone at Norton Children’s.

"It’s been about a year and a half now and she hasn’t had a seizure since," Sixbury said.

These days, Arya comes in for a check up, which usually includes an EEG, or electroencephalography, which is where Cox comes in, placing sensors on her head to monitor brain activity.

"Whenever I see those positive outcomes, it’s awesome to see," Cox said.

It’s a joy Cox can relate to. He, too, was diagnosed with Epilepsy when he was in the second grade and underwent some of the same life-altering surgeries then, that his patients are going through today. One of the few visible signs of his diagnosis is a scar from a craniotomy, along the right side of his hairline.

Credit: Jason Cox
Jason Cox was diagnosed with Epilepsy in second grade.

"You know what I tell people about mine? I was too smart, and they had to take my part out to make it even for everyone else," Cox said to Arya one morning.

"He’s special," Sixbury said. "He’ll talk to her about scars and having seizures and how it makes you feel, even after surgery."

Cox said the care he received as a kid is why he chose the healthcare field, and went right into Neurodiagnostics. 

"That’s my way of giving back, trying to help others," Cox said, adding he doesn't plan to leave the job anytime soon. "I am where I want to be."

"It means a lot and for her, too," Sixbury said. "He can talk to her. He knows exactly what she’s going through. You know, I’m there but I don’t really understand on that level and he does."

Norton Children's is looking for more people like Cox who are interested in this field. Job shadowing is a great opportunity to learn more about a career as a
Neurodiagnostic Technologist. 

The Norton Healthcare Center for Professional Growth can set up job shadowing opportunities for this and other roles. 

If you're interested in pursuing a certification, you may be eligible for tuition assistance to support education programming through Workforce Development.

Contact reporter Brooke Hasch atbhasch@whas11.com. Follow her onTwitter (@WHAS11Hasch) andFacebook.

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