33-year-old Rachel has a learning disability and was diagnosed with epilepsy aged two.
For 10 years, Rachel lived independently in Edinburgh with some support, but in July 2015, her seizures worsened. She was advised to switch medication, but following this, her eyes turned upwards, her mobility became extremely limited, and she now drooled and bent over when she moved. Rachel’s family were beside themselves with worry.
The turning point in Rachel’s health followed her family requesting and being granted funding to go to The William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre in Govan, Glasgow. After an initial assessment in January 2017, Rachel was admitted to the centre for two weeks in March.
As epilepsy is extremely difficult to diagnose, many people who are admitted to The William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre have been taking prescribed medication for years which may not be effectively treating their seizures. The specialist team at the centre is able to help patients reduce or withdraw from medication in a safe environment while seizure activity is monitored.
The team decided to significantly reduce the dose of some of the drugs that Rachel was taking and introduce a new medication. This was a transformative step for Rachel. She was able to walk upright, her face was alert and animated again, and the drooling and tremor in her arm had stopped. After a further two-week stay, Rachel showed even more improvement.
“She has far fewer seizures and is now much more active,” says Eleanor. “She has more energy and is able to enjoy being out in the evenings again. She can walk up to two-and-a-half miles with support, and enjoys swimming and trampolining. Above all, she is able to enjoy her life again.”
Patients must be referred to The William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre by a consultant associated with epilepsy care. The centre can also accept referrals from other medical practitioners in some circumstances.
“The improvement in Rachel’s condition was miraculous. People who knew Rachel couldn’t believe the difference.”
- Eleanor, Rachel’s mum