BENDIGO mum Ellie Bartram almost lost her daughter Georgia after an epileptic seizure last year.
Georgia, 9, now has an acquired brain injury.
She was forced to relearn how to walk, talk and carry out simple daily tasks such as eating.
“The needs of my daughter have become quite substantial,” Ms Bartram said.
“This time last year Georgia had a massive epileptic seizure and she nearly died.
“This can give you an example of how serious epilepsy can become.
“Her entire left brain was damaged as a result of the seizure and it left her with what’s called hemiplegia, which is like paralysis, all on the right side.”
It has been a long road to recovery but Georgia is now on the mend.
“She required quite intensive therapy for three months and she also lost half her vision and her speech went completely,” Ms Bartram said.
“She’s able to walk again but she’s still got the weakness in her right side so even tasks like eating her food can be difficult because of fatigue.”
Ms Bartram shared her family’s story after reading a report in the Bendigo Advertiser about Nationals candidate Sarah Sheedy.
Ms Sheedy said the debilitating effects of epilepsy had pushed her to the edge and that at one point she “did not want to be here”.
“It’s a very common tale, what she’s describing,” Ms Bartram said.
“There’s still not enough support for people with epilepsy, whether it’s children trying to get support to stay at school or young adults trying to retain employment.
“A lot of people, even today, still experience a lot of misunderstanding and ignorance out in the community about epilepsy.
“It can lead to a lot of isolation.”
Epilepsy runs in the Bartram family.
“I had it pretty severely as a child but I’ve pretty much grown out of it,” she said.
“My daughter does have it quite severely and my late husband had it. My father also had it so we’ve got a genetic type of epilepsy.”
Ms Bartram said some people needed high levels of medication to control their seizures.
"It's a matter of finding the right drug but, in some cases, they can cause poor concentration and even make your hands and feet tremor," she said.
"As far as support there is our local epilepsy support group and there's also the Epilepsy Foundation."