Stroke, Seizures, and Garrison Keillor

by Amanda Pike, EFMN's Senior Program Manager of Education

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News hit today that popular radio personality, storyteller and beloved hometown hero Garrison Keillor had a seizure this week. Keillor says his seizures are related to a stroke he suffered in the past. Read details here.

Keillor is 73 years old and stroke is the number one cause of epilepsy in older adults.  The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota wants to provide resources and information, as over 60,000 people in our community have epilepsy:  


  • One in 26 people develop epilepsy in their lifetime, regardless of age.
  • The rate of newly-diagnosed epilepsy is actually higher in older populations than in middle-aged adults.
  • In the U.S., 300,000 seniors have epilepsy.
  • Definitions: a seizure is an event and epilepsy is the condition involving recurrent unprovoked seizures.

 Since 1 in 10 people will have a seizure in their lifetime, it’s important to know seizure first aid.  Here are 4 easy steps:

  1. Clear the area: keep the person and surrounding area safe.
  2. Handle with care: do NOT restrain or put anything in mouth.
  3. Time it: Time the seizure duration, check for medical I.D. and call 911 if it lasts over 5 minutes.
  4. Stay calm: reassure the person after the seizure ends.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota offers 24/7 support at 800.779.0777 during business hours and 800.332.1000 after hours (en espanol available).

Seizures are common and Minnesota has some of the most advanced neurological care in the country.  For over 60 years, EFMN has helped people rise above seizures and is here to help!


Additional resources:

Seizure first aid:

Minnesota Stroke Association:

Email for custom resources and answers to your questions

EFMN services: What does EFMN Do? and Free Seizure Training


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