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Archive - Thursday, 16 June 2011
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Daughter's plight prompts Blackburn mum to write a book
A MUM is looking for a publishing deal after writing a children’s book about her six-year-old daughter’s form of epilepsy.
MY STORY Lille Lambert, six. Photos by Tim Bradley
Kate Lambert wrote ‘Sarah Jayne Has Staring Moments’ to help raise awareness of absence seizures.
The tale is based on the experiences of her daughter Lille, who was diagnosed with the condition 18 months ago.
Absence seizures are brief moments of staring or ‘blanking out’, which can affect some children dozens of times a day until adulthood.
Lasting around 10 to 20 seconds, they are a type of epilepsy caused by electrical activity in the brain.
MY STORY Lille with her mum Kate and art student Rebecca Morris who both produced the book
Sufferers miss bits of information and may have an accident if they have a seizure while doing something risky.
And because the child is unaware they have happened, they can be difficult to spot and mistaken for bad behaviour.
Kate, 31, from Revidge, Blackburn, said: “I knew something was wrong with Lille.
"At school she wouldn’t hear things, and if she had a bad day the seizures were worse.
"They made her tired and grumpy and out of sorts.
“She couldn’t explain her condition because she couldn’t see it happening to herself.”
Lille was tested by doctors after she suffered two more serious seizures, but these were isolated incidents, and her condition has improved.
Kate said: “She was having 100 seizures a day when she was first diagnosed.
“I did a lot of research and decided not to medicate her, which is quite controversial, but I felt she was too young and we wanted to try and find a different cure.
“We’ve given her alternative therapies such as homeopathy and cranial sacral therapy.
“After the first treatment she went down to five to 10 seizures a day.
“They last about a second now and they are not impacting on her school life so much.”
Epilepsy Action, the largest member-led epilepsy organisation in Britain, says that although some people find complementary treatments helpful in treating their epilepsy, “there is no scientific evidence to suggest that any type of complementary treatment is successful in controlling or curing epilepsy”.
It adds that because of this lack of scientific evidence, it is recommended that complementary treatment should be used with anti-epileptic medication, rather than on its own.
Kate’s book centres around Sarah Jayne Possembury, a fictional character she first wrote about when she was a child.
She said: “One of the reasons I wrote the book is because there is a lot of misunderstanding.
“It’s Lille’s story with a different name.”
Kate enlisted the help of Blackburn student Rebecca Morris, who illustrated the story and created the book as part of her second-year course at Blackburn College University Centre.
The 20-year-old, who is studying for a BA in Illustration Design, said: “It was hard work but fun, and it’s been really rewarding because of the theme behind it.”
Now the duo are hoping to get a publishing deal so they can spread the book’s message further.