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Lottie attended a local Epilepsy Action event and found out about a new treatment that changed her life.

LottieI first went to my doctor with suspected epilepsy when I was 15. By the year 2000 though, I was happy, settled and my epilepsy didn't impact a great deal on my life.

But all that changed in 2012. I had a big seizure and banged my head. A blood clot formed on my brain and my seizures got dramatically worse. I became withdrawn, severely depressed and eventually suicidal. I couldn't work and was in and out of psychiatric institutions.

Scans showed that my epilepsy was so widespread that further brain surgery to reduce the seizures wasn't an option.

Then we heard about an event that Epilepsy Action was running in Bristol. It was about different treatment options and there was going to be a talk on vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) therapy. At the event, I learned that VNS wouldn't completely stop my seizures, but it could reduce them.

That was my lifeline. I got my VNS implant in 2014 and my recovery began. Now my seizures have reduced dramatically and my mood and outlook on life have improved greatly. I can live my life and itís no longer dictated by my epilepsy!

Jo called the Epilepsy Action helpline when her son's epilepsy and medication caused him to change.

JoThis time a few years ago, my little boy Charlie was having several seizures a day. His medication wasn't working and he was volatile and angry. I was worried and confused and at a very low point.

That was when I phoned Epilepsy Action and spoke to Kathy on the helpline.

That one call gave me the knowledge and confidence to go and get the specialist care Charlie needed, and a review of his meds. Now the side-effects are gone and his seizures are controlled. He's calmer and more himself - it feels like we've got our Charlie back.

Caz set up an Epilepsy Action 'Coffee and Chat' group when she found herself far from the support of family and friends.

CazI was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was 18. I had good support around me from family and a local Epilepsy Action group. But that all changed when I had to move to the other side of the country for work.

Suddenly I didn't have that support. The lowest point came when my mum died. I was devastated. My seizures began to happen more often and spiral out of control.

So I decided to set up my own group. I contacted Epilepsy Action and advertised around town. Now the group is there so people can talk about their epilepsy to others who understand. Some people are scared to leave their house in case they have a seizure. But here they know people will know what to do to help. Having that support makes such a difference.

*photo posed by model

Together next year we can help even more people come to terms with the challenges of epilepsy.

Whether that's in their own life, or that of a loved one, we really can help more people take control of the condition.

Together we can reduce isolation and raise more awareness. Ultimately we can help more people towards seizure control.

Please, give an extra gift this Christmas - a better future for people living with epilepsy.

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