Woman calls for greater epilepsy awareness after son’s tragic death

A Woman calls for greater epilepsy awareness after son’s tragic death following a seizure at his home.

The mother of a man who died after having an epileptic seizure is trying to raise awareness of the risks of the condition.

Angela Middlehurst, from Parr in Merseyside, lost her 23-year-old son Ethan in February, after he had an epileptic seizure.

Angela, 42, stated that Ethan only developed the condition when he was 18 following a punch to the face which resulted in a broken jaw.

Angela, who also has sons Liam, 25 and Mathew, 13, said: “Our son developed epilepsy after being punched in the face by a doorman on his second ever night out in St Helens, just after turning 18. His jaw was broken on both sides and he had to have titanium plates fitted. Within a month of this he suffered his first seizure.”

According to sources the punch incident was investigated by police but no-one was ever arrested or charged.

Former St Cuthbert’s High School student Ethan studied mechanical engineering at St Helens College. He was passionate about rock music and had his own allotment, where he kept chickens and grew vegetables.

Angela said at the time of the punch incident, Ethan had been due to go into the army as a mechanical engineer but this had not been possible due to the epilepsy he had developed as a result.

She said: “At first the seizures were quite regular and it took a while to get the medication right and then it seemed to calm down. He had one or two seizures every few months. Before Christmas he moved out of the family house into his own flat – his dad and I weren’t keen on the idea but he kept saying he wanted to live a normal life. He was alone when he had the seizure, with no-one to help”.

Ethan with his baby brother Matthew

Ethan with his baby brother Matthew

“The coroner’s report came back that he had been eating at the time of the seizure – his airway had been blocked. We are heart-broken, it’s devastating.”

Angela said: “Ethan passed away during an epileptic seizure. As a family we are completely devastated at the loss of our beautiful, loving son.

“We want to get a message out there: sufferers, especially younger sufferers, need to be more aware of the dangers of their epilepsy”.

“My son never really took his epilepsy seriously. We were not given enough information about the dangers of epilepsy by any medical professional, no guidance or even leaflets.”

She added: “Every epilepsy sufferer and their family needs to know the full dangers of epilepsy, so that less families go through what we are going through now.”

Members of the family are taking part in a fundraiser this Saturday (March 26), which is Global Epilepsy Awareness Day

For information about epilepsy visit www.epilepsysociety.org.uk or call the Epilepsy Helpline on freephone 0808 800 5050.

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