LIFE with epilepsy won’t get in the way of this Wickford woman from doing anything she puts her mind to.

Around 630,000 people in the UK are living with epilepsy. Emma Evens is one of them.

Emma, from Wickford, was diagnosed with the condition when she was just six years old; learning as a teenager she has a rare genetic mutation and a drug-resistant form of epilepsy.

The nature of Emma’s condition means she doesn’t get any warning for her seizures, which have occurred in dangerous places like train platforms, zebra crossings, and swimming pools.

As an adult, the charity worker is determined to live an ordinary life and says she “wouldn’t change a thing”.

“Having epilepsy has made me who I am today,” said Emma.

It’s been a long road for the 32-year-old, whose mental health took a hit as a result of the diagnosis.

She explained: “I was constantly asking myself why I couldn’t be ‘normal’. I’ve struggled with depression and strong feelings of anger, which I’d direct against everyone who was close to me.

“School was not a happy time in my life. I struggled a lot, I often behaved in a way that caused me to lose friends as quickly as I made them.”

Entering the world of work was a challenge, too, with Emma receiving disciplinaries because of the number of seizures she was having and even being avoided by colleagues out of fear she would have a seizure in front of them.

Data from a survey by the charity Epilepsy Action, who provides a range of support services to help people coping with diagnosis and daily life with epilepsy, reveals there is still a clear lack of understanding about the condition, with nearly nine in ten people believing at least one myth about it.

Despite the challenges she faced, Emma is thriving in her personal and professional life.

Emma added: “I am very proud of myself, despite my challenges within school and previous workplaces.

“I have completed a business administration course, which I would consider my biggest achievement so far, and have worked my way up to an executive assistant role within a charity. I love what I do.”


Source:, Eillot Deady