Harrison Ford Details Daughter's Long Battle With Epilepsy In Tearful Speech

PHOTO: Matt Baron/BEI/REX/Shutterstock.
Harrison Ford is speaking out for the first time about his daughter Georgia Ford's battle with epilepsy.

In an interview with the New York Daily News on Tuesday, Ford revealed that his 26-year-old daughter suffers from the neurological disorder that is characterized by unpredictable seizures. The actor spoke to the paper at the NYU Langone Medical Center's Find a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures (FACES) event.

Ford praised his only daughter with his ex-wife, the late screenwriter Melissa Mathison, for her toughness. "I admire a lot of things about her," he said. "I admire her perseverance, her talent, her strength. She’s my hero. I love her."

Ford also talked about what it's like to be the father of someone who has to deal with the health condition, which as of now, has no cure.

"When you have a loved one who suffers from this disease, it can be devastating," Ford said. "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."

The Star Wars star gave a speech at the FACES event, which he attended with his daughter. According to the Huffington Post, Ford detailed Georgia's tough road to a diagnosis.

After she suffered her first seizure at a sleepover when she was just a child, Ford said Georgia wasn't officially diagnosed with epilepsy, but given medicine for acute migraines. Years later, she experienced another seizure while on a beach in Malibu, where she was found by a Hollywood director Ford does not name. Though the actor made it clear that it was lucky someone discovered her.

"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," Ford told the crowd. "But nothing was diagnosed as epilepsy."

It wasn't until Georgia suffered another seizure while studying abroad in London that they were able to get a diagnosis from Dr. Orrin Devinsky at NYU, who Ford calls "a dear friend."

With tears in his eyes, Ford reportedly thanked Dr. Devinsky: "He prescribed the right medication and therapy; she has not had a seizure in eight years."

This is not the first time Ford has talked about epilepsy. On the red carpet for his 2010 film Morning Glory, Ford said there was a "history of epilepsy in his family" and that he'd watched someone he loved suffer with it firsthand.

Ford also talked about the importance of having more public conversations about the disorder that he hopes can be eradicated soon. "There's real important cutting-edge research being done in the area," he said. "And I'm very hopeful that someday, very soon, we're going to find a cure."
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