“Keep asking questions, keep pursuing answers. Ask for the GeneSight test.”

Read the Transcript

Sharon: My name is Sharon Sullivan, and I’m here because I really believe in the power of GeneSight Genetic Testing to help people be healthier and take the medicines that are right for them.

Michayla: My name is Michayla Sullivan, and we got here today because I was critically ill for two years due to taking the wrong prescription medications.

Sharon: Our daughter was in law school and suffering from a little bit of stress and went to the counseling center and they gave her medicines and when she started showing side effects they gave her more medicines. Over the years I just can’t begin to say how many different medicines. I think that if there a was medicine out there Michayla was probably on it at some point.

Michayla: Most of the time, I was aware that I was losing it. And to me, I have always valued my intellectual capabilities so much. I was a kid that loved school and drove the other students crazy. I was the Hermione Granger of most of my classes, you know, hand up every time, I loved it. And to lose that and to lose a grip on reality and just to watch myself the losing that more and more every day. Towards the end there I was becoming convinced that I’d spend the rest of my life in an institution.

Sharon: I will never forget the night that Michayla’s doctor called me. It was after dinner and I remember him saying the words,” Are you sitting down? I think we have finally found the problem.” And he had just gotten Michayla’s GeneSight Test back, she couldn’t process all the medicines they had tried on and off over the years. When a person can’t process a medicine, what they get is no benefit, but all the side effects and the side effects get worse and worse over time.

Michayla: At some point, I did feel like I was on the right path. I’m not really sure when that point was because it was a process. It wasn’t just one day a light turned on, and, “Oh, you’re better now.” It just took so long for the medications to metabolize out that I stayed sick for another six months before I really saw improvement. And then it was a good year before I felt back to normal.

Sharon: The biggest lesson I think we’ve learned coming out of this as a parent is to be persistent and keep asking questions. And one of those I would say is if you see things that don’t make sense to is ask for testing. Ask for lab testing, ask for genetic testing, ask for the GeneSight testing, because you’ll much more understand, in addition to anything else you might have to do health-wise, you will much better understand what are the medicines that can work and what are the ones that don’t work and that actually become the problem? And I think every parent knows when something just doesn’t feel right. And you’re your best advocate for your child. And so I would say, just keep asking questions and just keep pursuing answers.

Michayla: My life right now is great. It’s not the same as it was before because you can’t be the same person you were before when you are chronically ill for two years and almost completely removed from society. But now I am in a career I love, I’m a librarian. After I got better I went back to graduate school and got two masters degrees. And so now I’m using both of them in a library position and I love it so much. I have a social life, I see friends.

Sharon: We enjoy our time together now in a way that for a number of years we really could not. It’s been a blessing. She’s so healthy and so happy. We’ve gotten to a place where she can be who she is and we are just so very thankful.