Speakers Corner

Triplets and a very lucky mum

01 February 2015
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By Ms B Coyle

I am a very lucky mum. When my daughter was 3 and a half, I gave birth to triplets - two boys and a girl and it was an amazing experience. When the triplets were just a year and a half, one of the boys had a febrile convulsion. It scared the life out of me in the middle of the night. Between then and age 5 he had 12 more.

Meanwhile, at age 3 my other son had a seizure one day in the car. He went rigid, began convulsing and we were rushed to hospital. We were told that hopefully it was once off. Months later sitting looking at him at home, I remarked to my sister "it must be great to be him. Do you ever notice how he can just tune out?" Her reply was "I am glad you brought that up....".

So I discussed it with the paediatrician and we were sent for an MRI and EEG. I had never even heard of absence seizures until that point. Anyway, on the 11th of February 2014 I got that phone call to say my son had epilepsy. Words cannot explain how I felt at that moment. My precious child had epilepsy, an illness I knew about but never imagined facing.

Sadly things got much worse. Just five days later, my other son had a tonic clonic seizure. After the various seizures I had encountered, nothing quite prepared me for this. It was the scariest thing I had ever witnessed and I could do nothing while my husband spoke to the ambulance staff, but stand back and cry. 

Three months later, after all the tests were done, he too was confirmed as having epilepsy. In the space of three months, two of my children now had epilepsy. It felt like my word had crashed. It's not the worst news but at that moment in time it was the worst news for me. My heart broke and some days, it still feels broken. 

Much of last year passed in a blur of hospital visits, tweaking medications, dealing with school and the effects of not only seizures but the medication.

But they are very lucky - they have their "triplet" sister in class with them who always looks out for her boys and a big sister who never - no matter what - let having triplets as siblings faze her. She just loves them.

Epilepsy may have changed me - I often wonder if I will ever sleep well again (one of them has seizures in their sleep) or will I ever relax when they are away from me. But I won't ever allow epilepsy to define them. I tell them often it is just a small part of a much bigger and better picture and they are amazing boys no matter what condition they have. The sky is always the limit. And I pray that is true.

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