Harrison Ford has spoken about his daughter Georgia’s battle with epilepsy.
“She is joining me to thank FACES. I admire a lot of things about her. I admire her perseverance, her talent, her strength. She’s my hero. I love her,” Ford said of his daughter with his second wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison.
He added that Dr. Orrin Devinsky and FACES “have been a great service to my family. I am grateful for that. So I’m happy to be here.”
“When you have a loved one who suffers from this disease, it can be devastating. You know how it affects their lives, their future, their opportunities and you want desperately to find mitigation. You want to find a way that they can live a comfortable and effective life.”
During a speech at Pier 60 at Chelsea Piers given later in the day, the father of five described the difficult process of getting Georgia properly diagnosed. Her first seizure occurred during a childhood sleepover and was given medicine for acute migraines.
“A few years later she had another big one, this one on a beach in Malibu, where a Hollywood director found her, luckily,” he remembered. “I said to myself this is Los Angeles, we have some of the best doctors in the world, they must know what’s wrong with her. But nothing was diagnosed as epilepsy.”
After Georgia suffered another attack while studying in London, they finally tried NYU.
“Dr. Orrin Devinsky, who is a dear friend, made the diagnosis: epilepsy,” Ford said tearfully. “He prescribed the right medication and therapy; she has not had a seizure in eight years.”
Ford has spoken about how epilepsy has affected his family in the past. At the 2010 premiere of his movie Morning Glory the actor said: “There s a history of epilepsy in my family and I m really aware of what a devastating affliction it can be. It not only affects the person who suffers from epilepsy but it affects their entire family.”