Mum-of-two Claire Mulholland threw herself into finding out everything she could about epilepsy when her young son was diagnosed with the condition after being three years “in the dark.”
“Those three years were very worrying as we did not know what was wrong,” recalled the Maghera woman. Four-year-old Nathan was diagnosed with global development delay and tonic clonic epilepsy in April of last year - giving her some comfort in knowing what was wrong.
At the time little Nathan was having seizures lasting up to 45 minutes on occasions, and was being admitted to hospital for treatment.
Claire is never sure when her son is going to have a seizures but thinks they maybe temperature triggered.
She received an information pack at the hospital which provided useful facts and connected her to Epilepsy Action.
“The diagnosis helped us but we still needed more information on epilepsy so that we could understand it better and help Nathan,” she went on.
Through Epilepsy Action, Claire was put in touch with members of its Mid Ulster Branch who meet monthly at a venue in Cookstown.
And she also attended her first Epilepsy Awareness Conference in Belfast last summer which she found “very interesting.”
Raising awareness about the different types of epilepsy and the way it can impact on the individual and those close to them is something she is eager to highlight. “You can develop epilepsy at anytime in your life,” she said.
She is planning to hold a ‘Big Breakfast’ for Epilepsy Action in Walsh’s Hotel, Maghera, on February 11 (from 8am to 12 noon) to reach out to others who find themselves having to cope, or work with, someone who is epileptic.
Claire, who cares full time for Nathan and his five-year-old sister, said help is available but people must know how to access it, and that is where Epilepsy Action is so important.
She invited everyone interested in the condition to come along to the ‘Big Breakfast’ and find out more information.