My daughter Ava was born with a rare brain condition and at three days old she had her first seizure.

Ava has since been in and out of hospital because of her seizures which are constantly evolving and have proven hard to fully control with medication.

Nothing can prepare you for being the parent of a child with epilepsy and while I accept that Ava’s seizures are part of our day-to-day family life, there is a constant concern in the back of my mind. I worry about when her next seizure will be and when I look in on the girls during the night, the first thing I do is check Ava's breathing.

While it is very upsetting watching my child have seizures; Ava is the one living with epilepsy. She is the strongest person I know, and she has overcome so many obstacles in her life so far. I am immensely proud of her.

Ava recently started a new form of epilepsy treatment: the ketogenic diet. This is a medically supervised high fat diet which copies the effect of fasting and has proven effective in the treatment of childhood epilepsy.

While we are at the beginning of our ketogenic diet journey, the difference in Ava since being weaned off some of her medication is noticeable. She has a sparkle in her eyes again. She is more alert, responsive, and active. Her seizures have halved in frequency and the hope is that as she becomes more established on this diet, her seizures will continue to lessen.

The Daisy Garland was set up by Sara and David Garland in the memory of their daughter Daisy who lived with Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy and tragically died from SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy) when she was just six years old. This charity supports children and families whose lives have been touched by drug-resistant epilepsy. Specifically, The Daisy Garland:
- Funds ketogenic dietitians;
- Provides grants for life-saving monitors;
- Offers one-to-one family support;
- Awards grants for special needs equipment.

The Daisy Garland provides “A journey of hope for children with epilepsy.” It would be wonderful if you would consider donating to help this charity continue to provide positive support for some of the 18,000 children in the UK who suffer from drug-resistant epilepsy.

A regular donation of £10 per month for 1 year could help fund family care boxes and Daisy Time4Me support groups where families meet for coffee and cake or a day out to break down the loneliness and isolation that comes hand in hand with epilepsy. Please click below to set-up a regular donation...

Make a regular donation

Below are some examples of the impact a single donation could have:
- A single donation of £15 could help fund a ‘Hug in a Box’ which contains carefully selected items to help and comfort a child undergoing invasive medical treatment.
- A single donation of £35 could help fund a lifesaving breathing monitor keeping a child with epilepsy safe while they sleep.
- A single donation of £50 could help support The Daisy Garland’s Ketogenic Services, giving a child with drug-resistant epilepsy the chance to reach their full potential.

If you are able to donate by Friday 18th December my sister Meg’s employer Thomson Reuters might be able to match the total sum of donations, as part of their charity support scheme!

Holly Burchett