AN INSPIRATIONAL woman has told of the emotional and physical impact of living with epilepsy as she launched her own support group.

Danni Bristow, 35, who lives in Rayleigh, told how her two children – aged ten and six –are now two of her key carers. She spoke out as she starts her monthly coffee and chat sessions.

Danni, 35, an Epilepsy Action volunteer, said: “I’ve been having seizures since I was 11.

“The epilepsy had started to affect my day to day life so I had to give up work as a childcare nurse about 12 years ago.

“It was affecting my sleep as well. The seizures vary, it’s usually triggered by stress. I have no warnings that a seizure is coming.

“My children are now ten and six, and are my registered carers. They both know how to help me if I am having a seizure and it makes such a difference.

“I have four different types of seizures and I know how important to is to be able to know what to do to help someone.”

That’s part of the reason she has launched the new group which will meet on the second Wednesday of the month at the Roebuck pub on Rayleigh High Street, from 10am till noon.

She said: “I’m really pleased with how the first one went on Wednesday. A lady came whose young daughter has epilepsy. She wanted advice on what to do. It’s great for her to have a group like this so she has someone to talk to.

“It’s for both epileptics and carers.”

Danni hopes will this will be a learning curve for everyone involved too, adding: “When I found out that the nearest support groups were in Basildon and Chelmsford I had to do something.

“I can’t drive and those in similar situations around here won’t be able to get to Basildon.

“I want this new group to be there for people with epilepsy in Rayleigh and the surrounding area to meet every month and talk about what they’re going through.

“I also want to welcome parents with epilepsy and also parents of children with epilepsy and encourage them to share their experiences to help each other.

“Whatever you’re going through, talking to people and just knowing you’re not alone makes such a difference.” To find out more, email dannib.epilepsy