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Prince Charles supports childhood epilepsy appeal

2 Jul 2001

HRH The Prince of Wales has become patron of a national appeal to raise £2 million for research into childhood epilepsy.

The Prince attended a national meeting in London on Tuesday about childhood epilepsy – which affects more than 75,000 young people in the UK.

He gave his personal support to a new appeal to raise £2 million to create a research chair in childhood epilepsy – the first in Europe – to be held jointly by the newly-named National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE) with its partners Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust and the Institute of Child Health.

During his visit, Prince Charles met Sam Fayers, a 10-year-old with epilepsy from West Sussex, who has used the centre since 1999 and met the Prince of Wales in the same year. Then, he was virtually paralysed, incontinent and speechless as he awaited neurosurgery. Today he told the prince how he likes to ride his bike and play.

NCYPE Chief Executive Bob Haughton said: “The Prince of Wales has given enormous support to NCYPE – formerly St Piers – and has encouraged us to draw attention to the work we do as the major national provider of services for young people with epilepsy. “Although many young people with epilepsy can deal with their symptoms effectively through medication, there are a group – probably about 20,000 – who suffer long-term disabilities.

As well as meeting with children during his visit, the Prince visited the diagnostic unit in Great Ormond Street Hospital which works in collaboration with NCYPE to provide a national assessment service. Children undergo tests at the Hospital before being transferred to NCYPE for more detailed assessment which can take up to six weeks.