My greatest achievement is winning the Challenge Cup in 2005, when Hull FC beat Leeds Rhinos at the final in Cardiff. I’m a professional rugby player for Hull FC. I’m 28 and live in Hull. I’m married with two children.
I had my first seizure on the rugby pitch at the age of 13 when playing in a school tournament in Gateshead. My family and I didn’t really think much about it and carried on with life as normal. I went on to have a second seizure and was diagnosed as having epilepsy. I was prescribed AEDs and my epilepsy has been well controlled since the age of 14.
I had a seizure 10 months ago which was my first in 10 years. I was playing a match against Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and had gone into the dressing room at half time. I had the seizure in the changing room in front of my team mates who did not know about my epilepsy. It was a massive shock for the team and at first I was a bit embarrassed about having a seizure in front of them. But now I wish I’d told people about my epilepsy before.
My epilepsy has never stopped me playing rugby. I’ve played rugby league professionally for 12 years. I was signed to play for Hull FC at the age of 14. Winning the Challenge Cup was a special moment for me. We took the tough way to the final, playing Superleague teams in every round. We deserved the win and it was fantastic to win the cup with the team.
On a personal level my biggest achievement is having two children. I hope there will be many more achievements in the future, with more cups and titles for Hull FC. I’m determined that when I eventually hang up my rugby boots my career will end on a high.
I’d encourage everyone who has epilepsy to share their achievement this National Epilepsy Week. Epilepsy Action’s record of achievement is a great way to show that having epilepsy doesn’t necessarily stop you doing the things that are important to you and making your mark on the world.