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My name is Millie, I am 9 years old, and I want to be an actor when I grow up.  This year I learnt how to crochet. I love horses…. and I also have epilepsy. I have asked Epilepsy Queensland to tell you my story as I want all kids like me to be able to go to school without being scared.

Millie had just run her heart out, at her school sports carnival when she felt something was wrong. With her brother Harry watching on helplessly, Millie suddenly moved her arms before she fell to the ground, unconscious. Millie’s teachers sprang into action to help her however, they had no idea that what Millie was experiencing was a seizure.

The teachers commenced first aid, thinking that Millie had just fainted. The lay her on her back and elevated her legs; the opposite of the seizure recovery position they should have put her in. A dangerous mistake, that luckily Triple Zero operators were able to correct.

Please donate today, to ensure we can give every child a FREE personalised epilepsy management plan, so schools know how to respond to seizures and can keep children safe.

After falling unconscious, Millie was rushed to hospital where her worried parents, Katie, and Steve, waited as doctors ran multiple tests on their little girl. Katie told doctors about past conversations with Millie’s school, who had mentioned that she was sometimes “dazed and confused and had fallen over in class. We now know that Millie had endured multiple seizures which sadly went unrecognised.”

“The next few weeks were a whirlwind of appointments, tests and hospital stays as Millie’s epilepsy diagnosis was confirmed. The fear of not feeling she was safe meant someone from our family always had to be close by,” recalls Katie. What followed was challenging for Millie and her family, who suddenly found themselves advocating for their daughter to continue her education and to be included at school. Katie explains, “it was a disappointing and difficult path to navigate, we were left feeling isolated and an inconvenience”.


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Gives parents & teachers expert help from the FREE National Epilepsy Support phone line
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$51,287 raised

$45,000 Goal

$51,287 raised

$45,000 Goal

I used to feel different at school, I thought I was the only one with epilepsy, when Mum and Dad heard this, they were upset and said it was important the school learnt about epilepsy. They had meetings with the principal to make school safe for me and the teachers learnt seizure first aid.

Riddled with anxiety and struggling to adjust to the new normal of an epilepsy diagnosis, the Whapham family turned to Epilepsy Queensland for help. “At a time when we needed support the most, our school was out of their depth on all things epilepsy.” Thankfully, after her school received training, Katie felt confident to send Millie back into the classroom.

Epilepsy Queensland was able to train over 2,500 people in seizure first aid last year.
Your donation will ensure this important work continues to help kids like Millie.

I am really happy that my family kept talking about epilepsy and made sure I could go on school excursions and swim in the swimming carnivals,” says Millie.

For children with epilepsy, seizures are often just the tip of the iceberg. The side effects of medication can change the path of their education. “Having epilepsy and taking medication makes school hard for me,” says Millie. “I had to start taking a tablet every day at breakfast and dinner time which makes me forget things. Sometimes I get so tired that I miss school.”

A recent study revealed that young people hospitalised with epilepsy are three times less likely to achieve the national minimum standard for numeracy and literacy.

We need your help to guarantee Australian children living with epilepsy get the support they need to live well.

This can only happen when every parent can access FREE epilepsy education to understand their child’s diagnosis, when every child has a FREE personalised epilepsy management plan to keep them safe at school and when EVERY school is confident in administering seizure first aid and emergency medication.

“School drop-offs became a panic-inducing event, particularly for Harry who at just nine years old experienced anxiety due to the responsibility of checking on Millie throughout the school day. If Millie’s seizures had been managed differently and her school had an understanding of epilepsy, the result would have changed our lives – instead we were left crippled by fear and distrust.” explains Katie.

Thank you in advance for your generosity this tax time, so we can guarantee EVERY Australian child with epilepsy is safe and understood.

Millie is proud to be living her life well with epilepsy. “I love my friends, they care about me, they know I have epilepsy and are always there to help me at school.”
Millie is passionate about creating a better school experience for other children.