The photograph shows Cathy with Epilepsy Scotland’s Allana Parker, promoting Epilepsy week in the Scottish Parliament. Cathy had her own personal tale to tell about epilepsy, having been diagnosed last year.
“My involvement with epilepsy groups became very personal a year or so ago, when I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I have seen first hand the quality of care that is available, but I am also aware that, for example, an increase in the number of dedicated epilepsy nurses would help people manage their condition and get on with their lives.
“Epilepsy takes many different forms, and is more common than many people imagine. There is a stigma attached to it. When I tell folk, some ignore it and talk about the weather while others make a fuss. It should just be accepted as a common disorder that needs to be treated – it affects nearly one per cent of the population.
“Since I began my treatment, I haven’t had any recurrence – fingers crossed. I am very grateful to the NHS staff who have helped me. It has given me an added incentive to make sure that people get the quality of treatment they deserve and need, not just for epilepsy, but also for diabetes, asthma and other conditions where better support – for example from specialist nursing and self-management training – could bring dividends not only for the health of sufferers, but also in turn deliver wider benefits to the NHS.”