HEALTH AWARENESS: Mary-Ann Watson with her son and Epilepsy sufferer Ryan Flenady and Jordan Flenady were working with Biloela Discount Chemist Intern Pharmacist Prue Duggan to raise the community profile of Epilepsy month.
HEALTH AWARENESS: Mary-Ann Watson with her son and Epilepsy sufferer Ryan Flenady and Jordan Flenady were working with Biloela Discount Chemist Intern Pharmacist Prue Duggan to raise the community profile of Epilepsy month. Glen Porteous

Ryan's daily health battle with epilepsy

EPILEPSY sufferer Ryan Flenady has been having seizures since he was eight months old and continues to have them nine years later. He also has a stable brain tumour and severe intellectual impairment.

Despite these challenges, Ryan has maintained a cheerful optimistic life and his mum, Mary-Ann Watson, wants to let the Biloela community be aware March is epilepsy month.

"He (Ryan) started to have seizures as an eight-month-old and we thought it was febrile convulsions from high temperatures,” Mary-Ann said.

"They continued when he was a baby and he had a drop (atonic) seizure as a baby and that can cause partial loss or complete loss of muscle tone.”

After several desperate rushed trips to Rockhampton, Ryan was diagnosed as having epilepsy and is now on daily medication.

Mary-Ann has her hands already full with Ryan's older siblings, Lachlan Flenady, 13, who has autism and anxiety, and Jordan Flenady, 10, diagnosed with ADHD.

Despite these challenges, Mary-Ann wants to let the community know that March is epilepsy month and on the 26th it will be 'Purple Day'.

"I just wanted to get the word out about raising epilepsy's awareness and people affected by it,” she said.

Epilepsy is a common brain disorder which takes the form of recurring seizures.

Some people's seizures are brought on by certain situations and triggers can differ from person to person, but common ones include tiredness, heat, lack of sleep, stress, alcohol and not taking medication.

They can develop at any age regardless of gender or ethnicity.

In Australia, there are approximately 250,000 people who live with epilepsy and one in 25 will have it at some point in their life.

On March 26, Epilepsy Australia will be encouraging people around Australia to help end the stigma and discrimination around epilepsy and 'Go Purple' - the international colour for it.

Biloela Discount Chemist intern pharmacist Prue Duggan said there were "about 50 epilepsy sufferers in the Biloela region and we want to raise its awareness in the community and there is support for it”.

"Leading up to Epilepsy Day, we will be decorating and decked out in purple and with a colouring-in competition.”