Teen helping others in wake of devastating epilepsy diagnosis
A teenager from Bradwell is fighting back and helping others after receiving a life-changing epilepsy diagnosis.
Gemma Taylor said her daughter was a “very independent and mature” girl, but she was “devastated” to learn she had epilespy, aged 13, after 18 months of unexplained episodes of unconsciousness.
Kiera Douglas, now 14, is no longer able to go anywhere unaccompanied and cannot lock doors in case she has a seizure.
On top of this, the first medication Kiera was prescribed had awful side effects.
Miss Taylor said: “It turned her into somebody she’s not. She had no energy and really bad migraines and it took a long time to wean her off it.”
But now Kiera is on new medication and has dramatically improved, having only had one seizure in three weeks, compared to an average of one a day previously. Despite this ongoing battle, Kiera has focused her efforts on helping others who suffer from the disorder.
On March 26, which is epilepsy awareness day, Kiera helped raise awareness by donning the colours of epilepsy awareness and hosting a purple zumba party.
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From there, the teenager organised a charity coffee morning at her home on Good Friday which raised almost £400 - Miss Taylor said she would have rented out a hall had she known how popular the event would be.
Now Kiera has begun a 10-week training plan ahead of the young epilepsy 10k walk in Kent, which she will take on with her mother in June.
Miss Taylor said: “She’s poorly today because we did just over 5k yesterday and it’s really knocked her off her feet.
“The diagnosis completely changed my world too, from having an independent young lady to suddenly having to be behind her all the time. It was devastating; we had days when we cried together and we supported each other.
“But now something has switched in her and I am so proud of her.
“She is proving to everybody that she’s not going to let it stop her, and through all of this, she has been a loving sister to her younger siblings - all she wants to do is help others.”
To donate to Kiera’s 10k walk, visit youngepilepsy.charitycheckout.co.uk/pf/gemma-taylor