Lucy was diagnosed with childhood absence epilepsy at the age of four.
“Absence epilepsy is where seizures are characterised by brief episodes of staring with impairment of awareness and responsiveness. These seizures typically last between 10-20 seconds.”
At the beginning of Lucy’s epilepsy journey, she experienced a few seizures a day. Due to the frequency, she was put on a very high dose of Epilim.
“Although Epilim did help control my seizures, it did come along with some big side-effects. Hair loss and weight gain were just a few for me. This created quite a few problems for me socially in primary school as I got bullied quite a lot.”
At the age of eight, Lucy got the best news of her life – that she would no longer need to be medicated.
“My doctors believed I would grow out of my childhood epilepsy and I would live my life seizure-free. For many years this happened to be true, until I hit Year 10 and had my first tonic-clonic seizure. This was a shocking surprise for not only me, but for everyone around me.”
After many tests and appointments with neurologists, it was confirmed that Lucy had never grown out of her childhood epilepsy and that it is something she will live with forever. This had a ripple effect, which also resulted in Lucy’s licence being suspended for six months.
Jumping forward to the present, Lucy is now 20 years old and is coming up to two years of being seizure-free.
“I am currently studying a diploma of travel and tourism and am working full time as an educator. I will always push to break the stigma around epilepsy and to bring light to some of the many struggles that come with this condition. I wish I could hug my younger self and tell her everything would get better.”
This year will be Lucy’s third year in a row participating in the Walk for Epilepsy.
“I pledge to walk 65kms in 25 days and raise up to $1,000. This fundraising event means a lot to me and I hope to always participate in any way I can. I encourage anyone reading my story to donate and participate as it will benefit many Australians living with epilepsy in the future.”
Support people living with epilepsy, like Lucy, by registering for the Walk for Epilepsy. Visit https://www.walkforepilepsy.org.au/0AC34C to register.