Family of tot diagnosed with epilepsy after traumatic birth launch appeal to help other youngsters with the condition
PUBLISHED: 15:04 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:09 28 November 2018
When Sheringham toddler Freya Gurney was born five weeks prematurely, she had multiple health problems, including jaundice, a bleed on the brain and suspected meningitis.
But, after spending two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the youngster recovered, and was sent home with her parents Emma and Chris.
However, shortly after being signed off from six-monthly hospital appointments to check there was no lasting damage from her traumatic birth, three weeks ago, two-and-a-half-year-old Freya had a seizure in the middle of the night.
“There are no words for it, it was just terrifying,” Emma, 22, said. “You just feel completely helpless watching your child go through that and, because we had never seen a seizure, we had no idea what was happening and thought there was something really serious wrong.”
After being rushed to hospital, Freya went on to have a further four seizures that day and, over the following three days, had a total of 15.
Tests showed the youngster had epilepsy, which doctors thought had been caused by the bleed on her brain at birth, and she was sent home with drugs to control the condition.
“I was heartbroken, but it was a relief to know what was wrong,” Emma said.
Worried that Freya could have a seizure during the night, Emma, who was made redundant from her job as a waitress a few weeks ago, bought a video baby monitor and launched an appeal for donations to buy an epilepsy alarm mat.
She exceeded her £500 target within a couple of weeks and, with help from her mum, Kim Glover, plans to continue fundraising to help other families buy specialist equipment.
Mrs Glover, who has temporarily given up work to help care for Freya, is also hoping to launch a support group for parents of children with epilepsy.
She said: “There is absolutely nothing available in the north Norfolk area and, although there are online groups, it would be so much better to talk face to face with people in the same situation.”
Anyone interested in joining a north Norfolk support group for families of children with epilepsy can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate to Freya Gurney’s epilepsy appeal, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kim-glover-2