Caitlyn nominated her fiancé Michael Robertson for a Helping Hands award. Here’s what she had to say:
“My epilepsy has become more severe with time; often I have been very close to death. I have tonic clonic seizures every day, at least 15 daily absence seizures and a new type of seizure where I am awake and jerking. It lasts for 20 minutes and I don’t breathe for majority of the time. I have these every other day.
I was 17 when I got together with Michael. He was only 16 and had to deal with my absence seizures from the day we met. Weeks into the relationship, he was dealing with the tonic clonic seizures. It was a lot to take on at that age. My epilepsy scared him, but he dealt with it so well.
In 2018 my epilepsy became even more uncontrolled and dangerous. But Michael caught me from falling down escalators, stopped me from falling on my stomach when I was heavily pregnant and stuck by me through everything.
As time has gone on, Michael has become more anxious. He doesn’t go to sleep until I am asleep, just to ensure I’m breathing. He watches out for me everywhere I go, in case a seizure happens. He takes time off work and hardly sees his friends or family, unless they come to us. He doesn’t have a social life and makes me his number one priority in everything and every decision he makes.
The seizures where I’m awake are quite new to us. Michael is even more terrified about me dying, but he carries on protecting me. He always helps me during the seizure, whether it’s catching me, putting me in the recovery position, or changing my clothes if I’ve urinated.
Michael also helps with the mental health side of epilepsy and has supported me through thick and thin. There have been times when I’ve been crying all night and he has comforted me, even if he has work at 5am. I will never be able to get across how much Michael has helped me because he truly makes me speechless.
Michael, you truly deserve this award and more. Words will never be able to describe the amount of help you give me for the seizures themselves and the mental health side of it. You’re a strong person that, even so young, stuck by me through thick and thin and never left my side. You have helped save my life more times than I can count, and I will be endlessly thankful for that. We will get through this and stay strong.
I was very emotional when I first found out Michael had won this award. I knew how much it would mean to him, how thankful and grateful I am for all his help and effort he puts in. I am very grateful and lucky to have a partner like Michael, who is so accepting and helpful when epilepsy is very hard to cope with physically and mentally.”
Accepting the award, Michael said: “This is a massive shock and surprise and I'm very grateful and feel very valued to get this award. As Caitlyn’s fiancé, I accept her for who she is and her epilepsy is part of her. It is upsetting, but we get through it as a family with our two boys also helping as much as they can at their age. I’m just very thankful for the award. Thank you.”