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Jaz's Epilepsy Story
In 2010 at the age of 11, Jaz was camping with family and family friends in Agnes Water when she had her first seizure. She woke early in the morning to find herself alone at the campsite, as everyone else was still asleep and her Mum had headed to a café near the beach.
Jaz remembers getting up from the camp table, and then next thing, waking up on the grass. She had fainted and hit her head without anyone witnessing the fall. To this day it’s still unknown if Jaz had a seizure that first fall.
An hour later, after telling her Mum about the fainting episode, Jaz and her family sat down at the table for breakfast, which happened to be next to the BBQ. Jaz recalls having a “cracker headache.” When she got up to get some food, she fainted again- into the hot BBQ and experienced a seizure which lasted ten seconds. She burnt the side of her face, with her ear the worst off with blistering.
Fortunately, Jaz was lucky enough to get into a travelling neurologist in her home town of Rockhampton only a week later and received her epilepsy diagnosis after an EEG and an MRI.
She says: “I was medicated straight away- little did I know that that would be the start of years of medication changes, aggressive seizures, weight gain and more.”
Jaz is now 21 years old and still has seizures occasionally which are usually myoclonic, but also occasionally tonic-clonic (previously known as grand mal). However, she says they aren’t nearly as bad as in 2011, 2012 and 2013, when she was having a few seizures each day.
Now Jaz says she would love to be a mentor for younger people living with epilepsy to help them through their journey.