Costa Mesa, California

January 27, 2016

Dear Family & Friends:

Ollie is back in the hospital.

As many of you know, Oliver Dillon, my 15-year old grandson, has a severe disability. On top of this disability, he suffers from seizure-like episodes that cause him to stop breathing for periods of time that can last over 60 seconds. When this occurs, his lips turn blue, he shakes and gasps for breath, and, eventually, he collapses and nearly passes out. The episodes are relentless, sometimes occurring over 100-times per day.

In 2009, we admitted Ollie to Childrens’ Hospital of Orange County and Childrens’ Hospital of Los Angeles for testing. He was in these hospitals for over 8-weeks. He was seen by doctors who specialize in every medical specialty known to human-kind. After all the testing, we were given no answers, except that the doctors are sure these are not seizures. So, he was discharged, and we learned to live with the pain, anxiety and uncertainty. Rather, I should say, Ollie has learned to live with the pain, anxiety and uncertainty. I cannot even begin to describe his bravery and courage in the face of this overwhelming adversity.

In the last few months, the episodes have increased in intensity and duration. At times, we feared Ollie would not self-resuscitate. So, on January 26, we re-admitted him to Childrens’ Hospital of Orange County for more testing. I spent the night with him last night, and tonight his bed-companion is his Mom, my daughter, Amy. I am so proud of Amy, Simon and Ollie’s 4 siblings, who love him to the Moon and back.

If you have room in your prayers for one more deserving soul, please consider Ollie, my beloved Training Partner and Best Buddy. https://eightsummits.com/about-me/my-training-partner/

Hug your children and grandchildren.


Ollie being hooked up to a continuous EEG
Ollie with his EEG skull cap


Ollie & Mom

Ollie & Papa
Sheena (Ollie’s beloved nurse from 2009), Amy & Ollie
My Hero


43 thoughts on “Ollie

  1. Bill and family. You have removed some of the trauma of hospital reentry by spending the nights with Ollie– what a blessing. We will pray for healing and recovery blessings.

    Rick & Linda

  2. Sending prayers to entire Burke family. My own 16 year old son is named Dillon, same spelling. We hold them close and find strength in our Lord. Keep the pictures coming Ollie has a wonderful smile!

  3. I have followed Ollie’s struggles through the years through Sharon and have also witnessed the love and devotion you and your family have given him. Of course, I will pray for Ollie and your family and I will put his name on the prayer roll at our temple in Bountiful. He is such an example of bravery and endurance. Best Luck to you all. Chris Jensen, Kaysville, Utah

  4. I am a former high school classmate of your daughter Lisa. We didn’t know each other too well, but reconnected on Facebook and I’ve enjoyed following your story. December 2014 my (then 21 year old) daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy. It is under control and she is fine now but seizures or seizure like episodes are absolutely terrifying. I have so much admiration and respect for Ollie and your whole family! I have lots and lots of room for prayers for this precious young man with the amazing smile. I hope you get the answers you are seeking.
    Love and blessings
    Juli Lutes Garon

  5. Praying for Ollie, his medical team, answers, and especially peace and comfort for all of you……Ollie is such a beautiful blessing and so fortunate to be smothered with your love.

  6. Bill, It is your Canadian , Alana, again. I am so sad that your grandson is having to suffer through all of this. I will be keeping you and your daughter and her son in my thoughts…It is hard on everyone involved. I hope that the medical /nursing staff will be able to give you more information as time goes on, as to what they may discover on this hospital stay. Tell Ollie, that he has a follower in Canada…tell him to stay positive and keep on smiling with that great smile…I believe, that with adversity, often comes miracles… miracles of a diagnosis, that will not only help Ollie , but will help others with similar symptoms, but currently with no answers for them as well.

  7. Ollie. A hero’s hero. My prayers are with you. I am always astounded by the intensity of human love, support and the power of love and prayer. I hope Ollie feels it all around him.

  8. We are sending hugs and love to the entire Dillon family. Can’t believe what Ollie goes through every day of his life…must be the toughest kid on the entire planet. Truly beyond comprehension.

    Feel so lucky to be your neighbors…sending an endless stream of love and prayers your way.

  9. Hi Bill,

    So sorry to hear about Ollie’s setback. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with Ollie and his entire family. Hopefully the doctors will discover the cause of these episodes. Our very best wishes.

  10. Dear Bill and family,
    Your request for prayer is on permanent position in my morning ritual. His heart shows as does his mother and yourself in the smiles we see and the example he shares with his courageous life. He is the very expression of God to all of us in the life he has lived and the one that his family has shared. You are all living examples to the rest of us. May God give you all the strength and courage needed to meet each day.

  11. Prayers from North Dakota for Ollie. Such a trooper he is to withstand so much suffering with this. May our Great Creator bring him and his family comfort and help to the doctors doing what they can for Ollie. Blessings to all and big hugs for Ollie!

  12. Bill and family,

    So sorry to hear that Ollie’s condition is not improving. He seems to be very brave in the face of what is a difficult situation. As always, you have my full support in every way.


  13. Did not realize the extent of Ollie’s problems. I do know he has the utmost in love and concern of not only his family but from everyone who has got to know him through his Grandfather.

  14. I remember we moved to New Port and on Port Barmouth, I was blessed. I met Amy, Simon and the kids. I connected with Amy, because I loved her spirit. Little did I know, that we both had children with disabilities. Simon and Amy were so good to our family. I keep prayers for Ali, and hope for an answer to ease his pain and and be joyful with his beautiful smile. Ollie, we love you!!!! Xo

  15. Dear Bill,

    A big Hello to Ollie! He has a fantastic smile, and is so very brave.
    I was just reading about Reflex Anoxic Seizures, and syncope, and how these (and other) conditions can resemble epilepsy, ( my son, Nigel, has Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy) but they aren’t actually epilepsy- It’s all so confusing, I hope that the doctors can give you all some much needed answers!

    Nige and I really enjoy watching the video of Ollie in his sidecar, so fun 🙂

    We are sending lots of good wishes and prayers to the whole family!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *