The nurse, 45, from Dalby, Queensland was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2015 and says her children are “masters in first aid and have called 000 on many occasions.”
She recalls her most recent seizure: “I was coming straight off night shifts, and I had no warning. I came home, used the bathroom, and washed my hands. That’s the last thing I remember until I heard the ambo’s voices.”
Anna had experienced an intense tonic-clonic (convulsive) seizure. Her youngest son, Jack, 17, was alerted by banging sounds and found Anna on the floor. He yelled for his older sister, Brooke, 23, who quickly rolled Anna into the recovery position on her side. Working together, Brooke continued to administer seizure first aid while Jack called triple zero. Jack calmly answered the ambulance officer’s questions and relayed their instructions to Brooke.
“If they had not known what to do, I believe that I would have possibly died as it was a prolonged seizure,” says Anna. “There was blood everywhere and I looked like I had been hit by a truck.”
“I had another seizure at the hospital 20 minutes later,” she continues. Brooke noticed a change in the way I was speaking and asked if I was alright.” This time, Anna experienced an aura, (warning-like symptoms) and instructed Brooke to hit the emergency call button. “I woke up very sore with my husband and family by my side.”
Anna would like the Australian public to understand how essential it is that people learn seizure first aid.
“Please just learn seizure first aid. It is so easy and can save a loved one or someone else’s loved one. That first 3-4 minutes you spend with the person having the seizure can greatly influence the outcome. It can be very scary to see someone having a seizure but if you are ready, and know what to do, you can save a life.”
“So many people have had seizures and people had thought they were drunk or similar and they really needed urgent medical help. As a society we need to care more about each other and if learning something that takes five minutes saves a life what harm can it do?? One day it might just be your family member.”