Epilepsy sufferer takes the plunge for charity that helped cure her
An Essex woman is to undertake an amazing sponsored swim to raise vital funds for Action Medical Research, the charity that helped cure her of epilepsy. For over 30 years, Caroline Martin, who lives in Southend-on-Sea, lived in fear of her next epileptic seizure. Her condition was so severe that even the most mundane everyday tasks could prove dangerous, and swimming alone was definitely out of the question. As well as coping with weekly seizures, Caroline also had to deal with the side effects of taking a cocktail of different medications to help control her epilepsy. Over the years she became more and more isolated and was eventually forced to give up work. Today, however, Caroline has a new lease of life. Thanks to revolutionary new brain scanning techniques developed with funding from Action Medical Research, she has been able to have a life-changing operation. A team of researchers led by John Duncan, Professor of Neurology at University College London, developed the pioneering techniques, which enabled doctors to pinpoint exactly where in Caroline’s brain her seizures were starting. Caroline then underwent surgery to remove the part of her brain that had been triggering her seizures. That was three years ago, and she hasn’t had a seizure since. Caroline says: “What people don’t understand is that epilepsy is not just a condition, it’s a way of life. You have to live within the limitations that it gives you. You have to think twice before doing everyday things to avoid accidents. “Since the operation I have been seizure free and improving every day. I’ve been swimming regularly to build my strength, help my circulation and to control my blood sugar levels, and I now feel able to plan a sponsored swim to raise money for Action Medical Research to continue its work. This will be a big achievement for me. I could not swim alone when I had epilepsy because of the risk of having a seizure in the water.” Caroline plans to swim one mile – or 48 lengths – at the Warriors Swim Centre, in Southend-on-Sea on Wednesday July 25th at 9.30am.
For a full account of Caroline’s amazing story go to: http://www.action.org.uk/touching_lives/2007/02/epilepsy/