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GENERATION NEXT – Amanda’s Story

People diagnosed with epilepsy today will encounter many of the same challenges faced by previous generations. To overcome these challenges once and for all, we need new ideas and new approaches. This month on the #ERUKResearch Blog, we’ll be revisiting some of the exciting and groundbreaking work being carried out by the next generation of epilepsy researchers – funded thanks to your donations.

From shortly after he was born, Archer started having what his mum Amanda calls “strange episodes”. Right at the point when he was falling asleep, his whole body would spasm, and his eyes would make unusual movements. As time went by, the seizures got worse and worse. Getting a diagnosis of epilepsy for Archer meant being launched into the world of medical appointments, tests, and treatments.

“Epilepsy interrupted a crucial development stage for our son Archer,” says Amanda. “It took time away from him when he should have been safe at home with his twin sister, but instead he was in hospital. His little body has been through so much and it’s been heartbreaking to watch our tiny baby go through this.”

This heartbreak Amanda describes will be familiar to anyone with a loved one diagnosed with epilepsy. As well as seizures and the whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, epilepsy can have a lifelong impact on children, adults, and families. In every way, epilepsy interrupts people’s lives.

We believe that research is the solution to this. Research is the only way that people will be able to live a life free from epilepsy. Research is the only way that families can be released from the heartbreak that epilepsy inflicts.

There are many persistent challenges facing children and adults diagnosed today. About 30% live with uncontrolled seizures, and for 65% of people we can’t pinpoint a cause for their epilepsy. And tragically, every week, 21 lives are cut short because of the condition.

We must tackle these long-standing challenges for the next generation of people diagnosed, like Archer. To do this, we need new approaches and new ideas. And thanks to your donations, we’re able to support a new generation of brilliant scientists who can drive this new research forward.

Many of these researchers have contributed to our Research Blog and Research Roundtable webinars over the last year. Throughout December we will be revisiting some of these articles and presentations which explain how research is providing hope to the next generation of people affected by epilepsy. Keep an eye out on the Research Blog this month to find out how your support is helping to improve the lives of people with epilepsy.

As Amanda says, “the next generation of researchers could stop Archer’s life being interrupted by epilepsy – and many other babies and children like him.”

Thank you to all the contributors to our blog and webinars throughout the year, who’ve shared their stories and discussed their cutting edge research projects. Most important have been the contributions from people whose lives have been interrupted by epilepsy. Their stories underline the urgency of research – what it could achieve, and what is still left to do.

Finally, a huge thankyou to everyone who has browsed our blogs or watched our webinars this year. If you have a story of your own you’d like to share, or you have an idea for topics you would like to see covered next year, please get in touch to let us know.

Thanks so much for your support in 2021. You’ve given us – and people affected by epilepsy – hope for a brighter future.

Give hope this Christmas and support the next generation of epilepsy researchers, by making a donation today. With your help, together we will stop epilepsy interrupting lives.

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