Claire was first diagnosed with epilepsy when she was just nine years old. Her first seizure happened in March 2009 when she came home from school. Her mum immediately knew something was wrong when she found her staring into her wardrobe and not responding. She had several check-ups as well as MRI and EEG scans to see if doctors could find out what the problem was. However, she then had two more seizures in the space of four months, which led to her being diagnosed with epilepsy.
Claire started taking medication to control her epilepsy but by Christmas she was having focal seizures every day. Doctors considered operating on her but her seizures were spreading so fast round her brain, they couldn’t capture the small area to treat it.
Claire said that as well as having to come to terms with the physical impact of having frequent seizures, she has also had to come to terms with a lot as she grew up. “When I started high school it became more nerve-wracking with getting the bus. In my first year I broke my leg after having a seizure and I had to have six weeks off, which really scared me. Thankfully my friends were all very understanding towards me and kept a close eye out for me.”
She continued: “I’ve also had a lot of medication changes ever since I was first diagnosed with epilepsy. When I was going through the worst spell of seizures I felt so down and just kept wondering ‘Why me?’ I felt as though I was in a dark hole that I’d never get out of, but once they got my medication sorted I felt happier. I passed my driving test last November and on the 3rd March this year I celebrated two years of being seizure free. Everything has changed – I just had to have some faith and wait for things to work out.”