Harrison Ford revealed that his 26-year-old daughter, Georgia Ford, has epilepsy at an event for NYU Langone Medical Center’s Find a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures (FACES) on Tuesday night.
“She is joining me to thank FACES,” Ford told the New York Daily News
. “I admire a lot of things about her. I admire her perseverance, her talent, her strength. She’s my hero. I love her.”
The Langone Medical Center’s Dr. Orrin Devinsky and FACES “have been a great service to my family,” the Star Wars legend added. “I am grateful for that. So I’m happy to be here.”
The 73-year-old actor said that his only daughter -- whose mother is Ford’s ex-wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison -- had her first seizure at a childhood sleepover and was initially diagnosed with 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 told the crowd during his speech at the event, held at Chelsea Piers in New York City. “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.”
Later, after another seizure while Georgia was studying abroad in London, the family sought help from NYU and Dr. Devinsky.
“Dr. Orinn Devinsky, who is a dear friend, made the diagnosis: epilepsy. He prescribed the right medication and therapy; she has not had a seizure in eight years,” Ford revealed, fighting back tears.
The actor’s personal and emotional connection to the disease led him to get involved, he told the Daily News.
“When you have a loved one who suffers from this disease, it can be devastating,” he 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.”