By C. M. James – Staff Writer

As the summer quickly approaches,  it’s expected that the seniors prepare for a life beyond UMF, but for a select few, graduation is months away as opposed to weeks, and for one particular student the road has been slowed by a seemingly uncontrollable circumstance.      Come next fall, Tyler Noyes will be attending classes in order to make up the 27 credits he failed to take during 2010-11 school year. Noyes had a particularly unique reason for missing class; he was recovering from a highly dangerous and experimental brain surgery. One which Noyes believed was necessary; otherwise, he may not be alive today.      “I had a predisposition,” Noyes said as he sternly starred off into the distance; pondering just how massive the ordeal still was even years later. “It was a small deformation in the part of my brain that was developing, and the sleep deprivation caused by it sort of allowed things to start happening.”     Noyes was diagnosed with severe epilepsy his senior year of high school. Since his diagnosis, he’s been put on several medications in order to regulate his seizures, which have had a severe impact on his studies since the seizures initially occurred.     “They really affected my schoolwork,” said Noyes. “If I was in class, all of a sudden I would phase out into a seizure state. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t speak.  It really affected my sleeping patterns. And with all the seizure drugs, it would slow my brain down.”     The seizures increasingly became worse for Noyes, who felt as though a regiment of medication would no longer be able to alleviate his condition. Noyes entered UMF an immensely unwell individual. His condition was bringing down every aspect of his life, especially his studies. Simply, Noyes was just too sick to work. And it wasn’t until he was presented with a radical option, that things began to look up.     “There were two operations,” explained Noyes. “The first was like a monitoring procedure that was done to make sure that there was nothing immediately wrong with me.”     Noyes had to have his brain monitored because the subsequent surgery would involve surgeons removing a part of Noyes’ brain while he was still conscious. Total confidence in knowing how Noyes’ head would react to such extreme stimuli was paramount. But Noyes then had to make a choice.     “At the begging of 2011, I was totally gone,” he said. “Recovery time after the second surgery was way over a month. I was totally out of it, you know? I was recovering from having a part of my brain cut out.”     In advance to this absence, Noyes told UMF Admissions that he would have to drop out, but he would definitely be returning. Following Noyes’ full recovery, he’s still far from putting his epilepsy behind him.           Noyes showed the medication he’s required to take after his second operation. He held a medley of about twenty prescriptions, all designed to keep his head in check.       It seems that there is strength in numbers, as Noyes has never been better. He returned to UMF during the May-term of last year, and has been an active, diligent student since. Despite his fervency for his academics, Noyes was still clearly distressed by the ramifications of his leave.       “I feel like I’m gonna be left behind here by a lot of people,” he said with the slightest bit of despondence. “Once you are at the end of your 4th year, there’s a feeling of restlessness. You’re ready to move on with the next stage of your life.”      Noyes may be missing his senior friends next year, but he claimed that there was still much more to look forward to.      “My spring semester in 2013 is going to be incredibly lightweight,” Noyes disclosed. “I think it’s probably beneficial to not push yourself as hard and take five years to graduate because you won’t be as stressed out.”     Stress was a big worry for Noyes during his first years at UMF. Since his period of recovery and reflection, he felt more at peace with himself and what was to come.      “You’ll have time to do your work,” he said. “You can really have a diverse experience instead of spending all your time getting your homework done and nothing else.”