Epilepsy Awareness for Purple Day

Epilepsy in focus: Local resident Tania Leadbitter is advocating for awareness and understanding of epilepsy. Photo: Shannon Wood. Local resident Tania Leadbitteris raising awareness for Epilepsy in conjunction with Epilepsy Awareness month and Purple Day on March 26.

After a recent seizure she suffered in public left her helpless on the side of the road, Ms Leadbitter decided to advocate for awareness in the community for people to better understand the condition.

Ms Leadbitter, who does not usually go out alone in public due to her epilepsy, decided to walk to a friends house on a Friday morning last month.

The next thing she knew, she had collapsed andfound herself suffering from a lengthy seizureon the side of the road.

“I don’t usually walk anywhere, I just happened to be walking across the road at that time, unluckily,” she said.

“I don’t have the type of seizure where you lay on the ground and shake, I just blank out.

“People think of epilepsy as being on the ground shaking, when that’s not always the case.”

A friend of Ms Leadbitter, who did not wish to be named, happened to be driving past during the incident and witnessed several people driving past without offering assistance to Ms Leadbitter.

“As I came along to where Wallsend Street splits into two, Tania was sitting on the road side.

A lady backed out of the driveway a bit further up and had a good look at herand then drove away,” he said. “About four cars actually slowed down and went around her.

Then when I pulled up on the kerb to talk to her and try and get her in the caranother few cars slowed down and went through, no one stopped to see if she was alright.

“I realise a lot of people are worried now, with all the drug addicts and things like that, but you can stop and wind your window down and ask if someone is alright.”

Ms Leadbitter, who has lived in Collie for 30 years, said people should be more caring when it comes to strangers and asking if they need help.

“I just want people to be more aware, I wasn’t a drug addict lying on the road,” she said.

Ms Leadbitter is currently on a waiting list for an operation that could potentially cure her epilepsy.

For more information about Epilepsy Awareness month go toepilepsyaustralia.net.

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