Celebrity
Girl who had 100 seizures a day would miraculously stop seizing when ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ was on
When Beth Usher was a child, she would experience up to 100 seizures a day. But those seizures would miraculously cease for 30 minutes a day when Usher would watch "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."
D.G. Sciortino
06.22.22

There’s no denying that the love Fred Rogers offered children through his show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” had a magical effect on their lives.

But one child is said to have experienced a medical anomaly from watching the beloved children’s program which ended its run in 2001.

When Beth Usher was a child, she would experience up to 100 seizures a day. But those seizures would miraculously cease for 30 minutes a day when Usher would watch “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

HeartThreads - YouTube
Source:
HeartThreads - YouTube

Rogers would eventually become a saving grace for Beth while growing up, not only through the television screen but in real life.

Beth began having seizures within her first week of kindergarten. Eventually, Beth’s seizures got worse to the point where she would have up to 100 a day.

“It was like being on a rollercoaster, and you can’t get off,” Beth told WUSA 9.

The ride did cease, however, during one part of the day. The only way that Beth’s mother, Kathy, could get showered and dressed for work was by propping her daughter up with pillows and placing her in front of the TV while her brother looked after her.

“She turned on the TV show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and I did not have a single seizure during the show’s duration. Something in his voice calmed the electrical circuits in my injured brain and allowed my body some rest,” Beth wrote in a piece for The Mighty.

HeartThreads - YouTube
Source:
HeartThreads - YouTube

Beth began to view Rogers as her personal friend and made sure to tell him that she loved him at the end of every show.

It was eventually discovered that the left side of Beth’s brain was shrinking.

To prevent further brain damage, the family decided to have Beth undergo a rare surgery to remove the left hemisphere of her brain for her extremely rare condition, Rasmussen’s encephalitis.

To help ease her daughter’s fears, Kathy reached out to the “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” show and asked if Beth’s favorite person could send her a signed autograph.

Rogers did one better and gave Beth a call.

“I was over the moon. I told him things I would never tell my mom or my dad. I told him about the surgery and how I might die. And how I didn’t want to die because I didn’t want to leave my brother. It was like talking to an old friend,” Beth recalled in a 2018 interview when she was 39.

Rogers himself spent time as a sick child just like Beth. He said he had “every imaginable childhood disease” which caused him to spend much time inside.

During this time, Rogers felt like he had no friends, so he would use his imagination to entertain himself.

In his show, he made sure to give children like him important reminders to help them from feeling powerless, like: “Doctors can’t tell what children are thinking and feeling by looking through their equipment or any other way. Only you know what you’re thinking and feeling.”

By the end of their conversation, Beth had spoken to each one of her TV friends over the phone, including King Friday the 13th, Queen Sara, and Daniel Striped Tiger who ended the conversation by telling Beth that he loved her and that she was going to be OK.

Beth was stable after her 12-hour surgery but eventually fell into a coma for two months. Rogers would make sure to call the hospital every day to check up on Beth.

He even made a trip to the hospital when he learned she wasn’t improving to give Beth her own personal puppet show.

Rogers also left her his puppets so she wouldn’t be alone when she woke up.

It wasn’t too long after his visit that Beth woke up from her coma. When Rogers heard the news he proclaimed, “Praise God.”

Rogers continued to call Beth every single year on her birthday and made sure to correspond with her via mail.

The family mourned his passing in 2003 along with the rest of the world.

“We definitely, desperately need more people to be like him. So many times, we will say, ‘What would Fred do? Just be kind. Everyone is worthy and loveable just the way they are.”

Learn more about this American hero and his amazing miracle in the video below.

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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