Learn more about “VOICES from the HEART”


Louis Stanislaw has brought us an extraordinary gift: a collection of deeply moving essays from men and women sharing their experiences with the age-old disorder of epilepsy. These stories are filled with wisdom and compassion, and they help erase the stigma and ignorance that accompanies epilepsy even today.

In “Helpless Onboard,” Jonathan Magaziner tells us of his feelings of pain and powerlessness as he sits on an airplane and watches a man a few rows away suffer a seizure—and then be carried off to an unknown destination.

In “Quiet Courage,” Lord Charles Guthrie, a distinguished British military commander, tells us about the strength and pride of a young soldier who refuses to let his secret battle with epilepsy halt his dreams of a sterling military career.

In “Coming Out The Other Side,” Bill Maier tells us of his personal angels, the doctors and nurses, who, through an advanced surgical procedure, were able to halt his seizures and put an end to the chaos that was destroying his life.

Finally, in “Reaching For The Stars with Epilepsy,” Amanda Rich shows us the full power of the human spirit, as she embraces her epilepsy not as an affliction but as a gift, a unique opportunity to learn and grow and help others along the way.

As you are about to discover, Louis has brought us true “VOICES from the HEART,” and reading them will lift your own heart and change your life forever.

Special Thanks

I would like to thank Paul Chutkow and Joseph Stanislaw, my father, for their unflagging support and assistance throughout this project. I would also like to thank my mother, Augusta, my siblings Katrina and Henry, and my brother-in-law Chad, for their love and support. Thanks also to the team’s advisors: John Allison, Susan Axelrod and Ron Heifetz. I would especially like to give thanks to my copy editor, Marcus Eliason, and my design artist, Dorothy Carico Smith, for their encouragement and their editorial and creative contributions. Above all, I want to thank the wonderful group of men and women who contributed their personal stories and insights to this collection. Each of their stories was a true inspiration for me, and I am most grateful for their time and effort, and for their eagerness to help bring important light and understanding to the subject of epilepsy.

The Writers

  • Ronald Heifetz

    “Voices from the Heart will inspire, stretch and move you in your own life as you touch in these pages the courage and conviction of people with epilepsy and their families. Many of us struggle with the reality that we live in a world beyond our control, and we can learn profound lessons about our own lives from people who live and work with this reality every day.”

    Ronald Heifetz
    author and founder of The Center for Public Leadership, at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government
  • Howard K Koh MD MPH

    “This riveting set of illustrated vignettes drives deep into the soul of epilepsy. The range of moving stories and unvarnished emotions will inspire awe, appreciation and admiration for all who had the courage to share.”

    Howard K Koh MD MPH
    U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health and Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of Public Health Leadership, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government
  • Douglas Preston

    “Voices from the Heart is an extraordinary book. These affecting and diverse voices take epilepsy out of the shadows and shine the light of understanding and humanity on it from many different perspectives—both personal and medical. Anyone whose life has been touched by epilepsy—through family, friend, or self—will find in this vital book an immense trove of wisdom, revelation, awareness, acceptance, and compassion. I highly, highly recommend it.”

    Douglas Preston
    New York Times bestselling author