Epilepsy Warriors ready to soar - Mia's story - Epilepsy Queensland

Epilepsy Warriors ready to soar

We are excited to announce that our Purple Month event iFLY for Epilepsy has been rescheduled for September. Join our troupe of high flyers with this fantastic opportunity to fundraise and experience indoor skydiving.Launch your fundraising here to raise a minimum of $300 for Epilepsy Queensland, and join us at iFLY Chermside on 5 September.One of our fantastic flyers is Mia Whittall who is nine years old and lives with epilepsy.

Mia's epilepsy story

Mia was three years old when her parents found her in bed having her first tonic clonic seizure.

Mum Shannon said: “Her Dad travelled with her to hospital in the ambulance and I followed shortly after in the family car, expecting to find her in a room in emergency resting with the reassurance it was a one-off event. I hoped it was just something that happens to kids sometimes. I did not expect to find her in resuscitation with two doctors and a nurse monitoring her.”

Two weeks later, EEG monitoring showed a type of epilepsy that mainly occurs during sleep. They waited before trying medication but she had a few more seizures while in bed in quick succession which meant it was necessary to try a medication.

“While it kept the seizures mostly away, we didn’t like what it did to her. So we phased out the medication when she was five years old.

We thought we had made the right decision. She has not had a tonic-clonic seizure since and we thought she had grown out of it,” Shannon shared.

In 2017, she had another EEG to rule out any seizure activity before starting a non-epilepsy related medication. The paediatrician called as soon as she received the results as Mia was having constant seizure activity. Mia’s parents were advised to start medication that day and they did.

“We had no idea that this activity was constant and affecting her so much. She would fall over multiple times in a running race, we thought “she has long legs, she is just clumsy”, we would ask her to put her shoes on, she would forget in two seconds, we thought she was just forgetful. She was also having outbursts in class. We didn’t realise it was from her brain constantly hitting the reset button and she was confused and didn’t understand what was being taught,” Shannon said.

Some good news

Her family were happy to share: “Mia is now under the care of one of Brisbane’s top neurologists and the improvements are obvious. She can now focus at school and at home. She runs without falling over and her quality of life has improved greatly. We have spoken to Mia about her condition and with support from Epilepsy Queensland, she understands her condition and wants more people to know about it. This year she did a PowerPoint presentation to her Principal about hosting a Purple Day fundraiser which has been delayed due to COVID-19. We are hoping to do it in September. She also set up an Everyday Hero page raising money for Epilepsy Queensland to participate in iFLY for Epilepsy. Mia was really excited to raise over $1600.”

Mia and her parents are looking forward to meeting more families at iFLY. She shares: “We were sad when many things were cancelled due to COVID-19 and can’t wait to meet everyone in the epilepsy community in Queensland at the next Purple Day event.”

Epilepsy Queensland