AN 11-YEAR-OLD boy, who has epilepsy, is climbing a mountain to raise money to help others with his condition.
Oscar Maitland, from Arundel, is determined to reach the 3,200ft Scottish summit of Ben Lomond after being diagnosed with epilepsy three years ago.
Oscar said: “When I was eight, I had some strange episodes.
“It felt like I had other people’s dreams or memories in my head and I would feel really sick.
“Once I had a tonic clonic seizure that lasted more than 20 minutes.
“A paramedic stopped the seizure and took me to hospital, and I ended up being diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy.
“It turned out that all along the strange episodes I had were focal seizures.”
Oscar hopes that he will be able to raise awareness of the condition.
He added: “Lots of people don’t understand epilepsy at all, or they expect everyone’s seizures to be the same:, to look like a ‘fit’.
“It’s important to me that people know that everyone’s seizures look and feel different.
“Epilepsy can also affect my emotions and my worries about becoming more independent in the future.
“I wish people were not frightened of epilepsy and knew how to help. Sometimes I’m scared of being on my own in case I have a seizure.
“But I can still do everything like everyone else. Recently I stayed overnight at Scouts camp and we built our own shelters.
“I also went on a school trip and tried abseiling, climbing and archery. So I’m building my independence and confidence.
“Over lockdown I researched epilepsy charities for a school project. I decided that I liked Epilepsy Action the best as their website and information are more suitable for children like me. It seems positive about helping people live better lives.”
Oscar has already raised £1,000 for Epilepsy Action at a school event.
He said: “It would make me feel so proud to get to the top of Ben Lomond, like I can overcome anything. I’d love it if people sponsored me.
“I love fundraising for Epilepsy Action because it gives me a positive way of helping other people, instead of getting upset that I have epilepsy.
“I hope that some of that money will help people like me to be free of epilepsy in the future.”
Source: theargus.co.uk, Ellie Smitherman