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Pupils go purple to help families affected by epilepsy

Little Charlie McGowan and friends from Gaelscoil Uí Dhochartaigh mark World Purple Day in support of the Daisy Garland Foundation, which recently provided the McGowan family with an indispensable heart monitor.

The mother of a child with severe epilepsy is hopeful a Gaelscoil fundraiser will help provide more families with potentially life-saving heart monitors.

With the help of the Daisy Garland foundation, Strabane woman Kellie McGowan was thrilled to receive a heart monitor for little Charlie, which could save his life in the event of a seizure.

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With World Purple Day marking world-wide awareness of epilepsy on Monday, Gaelscoil pupils wore purple to raise money that could provide the same opportunity to other families.

After experiencing such generosity, Kellie says she is keen to give something back to the Dairy Garland foundation.

“Being provided with a monitor was truly life changing,” she explained. “The monitor allows us to rest easy and sounds an alarm if Charlie is suffering from an epileptic seizure. Before, my husband and I would have to watch him constantly throughout the night.

“With Monday’s fundraiser, we are hopeful that we can raise money for one or two monitors. Overall, I am confident there are many families going through the same who could really benefit from a heart monitor in their home.”

The Daisy Garland foundation was founded in 2004 following the death of epilepsy sufferer Daisy Garland. According to Kelly, this family didn’t have a monitor at their disposal, resulting in tragedy before they could even realise Daisy was taking a seizure.

“It is clear these monitors are absolutely indispensable, and we need to raise both money and awareness of epilepsy. These machines cannot be obtained through the NHS but prove to be a lifeline for many epilepsy sufferers.”

Kellie and family are keen to raise awareness of epilepsy in the area, and to support the Daisy Garland foundation. To donate and to find out more information about the charity, visit www.thedaisygarland.org.uk.

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