WHEN Sarah Chignall’s son Eadweard had his first seizure at three months, she was surprisingly calm.
“I wasn’t worried about it at that stage, but as time went on I realised that it was a lot more serious,” she said.
At six months, Eadweard was diagnosed with epilepsy and, as his seizures became more frequent, he regularly spent three nights a week in hospital with his parents.
Mrs Chignall said her son – now four years old – has had 22 ambulance calls since the middle of August this year. Of those 22 calls, 19 resulted in hospitalisations, which generally last between one and three nights.
“It has been really stressful the past two months, just the toll on the family in general,” she said.
Eadweard has been diagnosed as having cerebral palsy, uncontrollable epilepsy, movement disorder, and global developmental delay. “He is not able to talk and he is not able to walk,” Mrs Chignall said.
Mr and Mrs Chignall, who live near Daylesford, have three other young children and they have had to stop working to look after their sick son.
“It has had a massive effect on the finances. Stuart (her husband) is just in the process of setting up a new business so there is the added stress with that,” she said.
Along with the expensive emergency drugs, Eadweard’s parents recently bought a wheelchair vehicle on finance.
Friend Tammy Fineberg has organised a fund-raising trivia night to try to pay off the parents’ debt and raise money for Eadweard’s care.
The fund-raiser will be hosted by 3BO’s Brian Coghlan and will have a raffle of donations received from the community. The trivia night is at South Bendigo Football and Netball Club this Friday from 7.30 to 11 pm.