Mum's gruelling day to raise awareness for rare epilepsy
A NEWTON ABBOT mum will endure a gruelling day of fitness to raise awareness — and funds — for a rare form of epilepsy.
Fiona Fewings, is hosting the fundraiser at Newton Abbot Leisure Centre as part of Purple Day, a national awareness day for the condition as her son Paddy has Dravet Syndrome.
It's a severe form of the illness which causes him to have up to three seizures a day.
The seven year old also has hearing difficulties, delays in his learning, autism and ADHD.
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He is on medication to control his seizures, but for the last couple of years his health has been difficult to stabilise.
"It's a roller-coaster syndrome," said Fiona. "He's not doing brilliantly at the moment as his seizures are quite aggressive. If he has them for more than 10 minutes at a time we have to call the ambulance and he goes to hospital frequently.
"Before Paddy was born I'd never even heard of Dravet Syndrome. Now I'm an expert. I have to be.
"I'm doing all this exercise to raise awareness and hope friends will join me to give me moral support.
"Every penny we raise will go towards research and help people like Paddy get decent medication."
Fiona, who is currently studying a degree in health and social care, said that Paddy was 16 weeks old when he had his first seizure.
"We were told he may never talk or walk but he's proved everyone wrong," she said.
"Paddy has done himself proud. Everyone who meets him loves him. He's a tough cookie and bounces back so quickly.
"Both myself and my husband, Lee, are carers for Paddy as he can't be left on his own."
She is a member at the leisure centre and is passionate about fitness.
She will take part in seven high impact classes including Zumba and body pump as well as swimming and gym sessions on Purple Day, the national epilepsy day on March 26.
She said: "I'm just getting over a flu virus so hope I'll be able to do well. I'll give it my best shot."
To donate to the cause, log on to www.justgiving.com/FionaFewings