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Weymouth man wants to raise epilepsy awareness

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8:00am 19th November 2017

A Weymouth man living with epilepsy is calling for more awareness of the condition.

Gavin Roberts underwent major surgery in a bid to improve his quality of life.

He's aksing people to donate to charities such as Epilepsy Action.

Gavin says people's lives are often at risk and more funding could make a difference:

"We need more research into finding a cure to reduce the number of deaths and cases who need surgery."

Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures caused by bursts of electrical activity in the brain that temporarily affects how it works.

The condition can start at any age, but usually begins either in childhood or in people over 60.  It's often lifelong, but can sometimes get slowly better over time (source: NHS).

Seizures can affect people in different ways, depending on which part of the brain is involved.

Symptoms can include:

  • uncontrollable jerking and shaking – called a "fit"
  • losing awareness and staring blankly into space
  • becoming stiff
  • strange sensations – such as a "rising" feeling in the tummy, unusual smells or tastes, and a tingling feeling in your arms or legs
  • collapsing

Gavin says it's vital we know more about the condition.

"If people know what to do during a seizure that can help so many people."

Here's what to do if you see someone having a seizure or fit:

  • don't panic
  • move them away from anything that could cause injury – such as a busy road or hot cooker
  • cushion their head if they're on the ground
  • loosen any tight clothing around their neck – such as a collar or tie, to aid breathing
  • when their convulsions stop, turn them so that they're lying on their side
  • stay with them and talk to them calmly until they have recovered
  • note the time the seizure starts and finishes

You don't necessarily have to call an ambulance but you should dial 999 if:

  • it’s the first time someone has had a seizure
  • the seizure lasts for more than five minutes 
  • the person doesn’t regain full consciousness, or has a series of seizures without regaining consciousness

You can find more detailed advice by clicking here

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