Purple Day pooch named Super Trooper

Published: April 05 2024
Last updated: April 05 2024

Meet Zach, the winner of our Purple Day pooch Super Trooper

Zach with the Purple Day dog Super TrooperYou may remember on Purple Day last week, our pooch finally got a name.

Zach, 5, chose the name Super Trooper and received his cuddly dog toy earlier this week.

Zach’s mum and dad started calling Zach ‘Super Trooper’ to encourage him to take his epilepsy medicine – but now, with the help of a few chocolate buttons, he takes it no problem.

Anna, Zach’s mum, began to notice his epilepsy symptoms last year.

She said: “Zach (now 5) was under investigation for epilepsy for around a year or so after we noticed unusual jerking movements. They were particularly prevalent while falling asleep but then presented during the day resulting in injuries such as hitting his head on the sink while washing his hands, falling off his bike and hitting his head on the dining table while eating a meal. This was my main concern at first. Then we noticed he would often lose control of his bladder straight after one of these jerks. Other symptoms became more noticeable such as extreme tiredness.”

To get a diagnosis for these symptoms, Zach’s neurologists asked Anna to video his seizures and they gave him an EEG. But a few months after, his symptoms completely vanished.

“After a second normal EEG he was discharged with a view that he had grown out of whatever it was,” says Anna. “But, about three weeks after being discharged, in July 2023, completely out of the blue, I walked into him post seizure. He was literally grey in colour, there was vomit everywhere, he had wet himself and was unresponsive, although breathing. After being blue lighted to hospital, he had a further seizure in the night and another in hospital the next morning. A prolonged EEG strongly showed focal epilepsy in the frontal lobe and we were told there and then. His seizures were not what I had thought epileptic seizures could be like. It was as if he had been locked in his own body. Having to film it for the specialists to see was especially traumatic for myself and his dad but we knew it was important.”

Super Trooper the Purple Day dogZach was given clobazam as an emergency medicine and he began to recover.

“After the effects of the seizures and the clobazam wore off, he was back to his old self,” says Anna, “although he has many small jerks throughout the day.

“Having to adjust to long-term medication has been hard. Zach has issues with food and we have struggled to even get him to take Calpol. Luckily he has seemed to realise the importance of his epilepsy medicine and has been super brave, even after we had to switch medication. We refer to him as ‘Super Trooper’ when he takes his medicine and now he takes it with no issues (as long as he gets a chocolate button!)”

Anna adds: “We are so proud of how Zach has overcome his fear of taking medication and his entire attitude to his condition.”

The family has used Epilepsy Action’s services to educate themselves about epilepsy, using the website to help Zach’s 10-year-old brother to learn about the condition, and to get information on medications and seizure types.

Zach’s epilepsy means he can get quite tired, “but he always powers through”, says Anna. Adding: “We can’t drive more than 10 minutes in the car without him nodding off! We still get the occasional injury from his jerks, such as a fork full of food in his face but it is much better now.”