Cumbrian mum ‘went to bed as normal’ before a seizure changed her life completely

A West Cumbrian mum has revealed the terrifying night she went to bed ‘as normal’ before waking to find two paramedics standing over her.

Hanna Davison has suffered a seizure in her sleep – something that had never happened to her before. Later, in the hospital, she was told she had epilepsy.

Since that night in October 2021, she says her life has been a whirlwind coping with a condition she had absolutely no family history of. Some of her fits can last up to 25 minutes.

The 39-year-old mum-of-two spoke passionately to CumbriaLive about how she was first diagnosed and the events leading to it. And revealed how proud she is of her children, Olivia, 12, and Lloyd, 10, for taking the diagnosis in their stride.

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Epilepsy is a common condition that affects the brain and causes frequent seizures. Seizures are bursts of electrical activity in the brain that temporarily affect how it works.

They can cause a wide range of symptoms and, as Hannah has discovered, can present themselves in a variety of different ways. For Hannah, she only ever has a seizure in her sleep.

Speaking about her first seizures and the events that followed, she said: “I had Covid and was poorly for two weeks and went back to work then had a week off work for half term in October. I was due to go back to work on Halloween and then had seizures.

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“I’ve never had anything like this before, there is no epilepsy in my family. I had no symptoms or anything leading up to it. I wasn’t even poorly the day before or anything.

“I literally went to bed as normal on that Sunday night and woke up at 4.30am with two paramedics standing looking at me and I’d had a seizure.”

Hannah was taken to West Cumberland Hospital for tests and later sent home where she felt tired and worn out. She told her husband, Wayne, that she was going to have a sleep on the sofa and within minutes her dog was running back and forth to her husband in the kitchen to alert him that Hannah was unwell.

Hannah was having another seizure, she has no memory of this. The next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital the following day.

She was told she’d had another seizure in the hospital and had to be put under sedation to stop them. Hannah added: “I was really confused, disoriented and tired. It really knocked me in general. I have two children and I’m active with them. But it really did knock me.

“I was off work for four months and I was due to go back to work and get back into a routine, but the Sunday night before I was due to go back I had another seizure. This was four months later and we were all really shocked that this had happened again.

“Again, I knew nothing about it. They all happen in my sleep, I’ve never had one when I was awake. I didn’t know you could do this, I always thought it happened when people just drop to the floor. “

This time Hannah can’t remember waking up or getting into the ambulance. Wayne told her that she walked into the ambulance but she has no recollection of this.

A day later Hannah remembers waking up with a syringe in her arm and one in her hand and being told she’d been sedated again. Normally, epileptic seizures last anywhere between one and three minutes, however, Hannah has never had one lasting under five minutes.

The last time she was in the hospital she had five, with one lasting 25 minutes in total. During that she almost bit helped of her tongue off and is still suffering the effects of this now.



Hannah, with her husband Wayne and two children Olivia and Llyod
Hannah, with her husband Wayne and two children Olivia and Lloyd

Now, Hannah has been started on epilepsy medication. She’s had a number of scans since then, which so far, have all come back clear.

Since starting on the medication doctors have been increasing the dosage slowly up to the maximum dose and now she’s at the maximum dose, providing that Hannah has no more seizures, she won’t have to see her neurologist again for six months.

The mum-of-two has turned her attention to her blog Epielspy and Me, which she says telling others about her condition has helped her come to terms with it as well.

She said: “After I got diagnosed I was like what on earth do I do now. What’s going to happen? Epilepsy to me was when people drop to the ground and are shaking.

“I started doing a bit of research about epilepsy and found out more about the different types and the seizures that I have. As I was learning about it I thought there as so many people out there, my family included, who don’t know anything about it.

“I spoke to my friend about it and told her I was thinking about doing the blog and she said I absolutely had to do it and tell people more about it. I didn’t want people to think I was pushing it on them.

“It’s been interesting because I’ve had people reach out to me that I know and said ‘I’ve got epilepsy’ and I didn’t know they did. It’s nice to kind of build-up that relationship with other people with who you can have conversations and hear stories. I hope I’m helping other people as well.”

Hannah feels it is important we open up and talk about these things. She added: “There’s nothing we can do about it. I’ve never thought why me. At the end of the day it has happened to me and I’ve just got to get on with it.

“It’s a part of my life, it’s a part of my children’s life, it’s a part of my husband’s life. We just have to get on with it. We have to make the best of it.”

Hannah has been blown away by how her children have coped with her condition. She said: “The kids just took it all in their stride. The morning of my first seizure my husband had picked the phone up and ran through to my 12-year-old daughter and said ring an ambulance and she did and gave them all the information they needed.

“They’ve been great, they’ve just dealt with it. My husband couldn’t come to the hospital with me because of Covid but when I was being taken to hospital the kids were actually packing my bags because they knew I was going They were even packing their bags in case they needed to go to my mam’s if my husband was allowed to come with me.

“I couldn’t believe it when my husband told me because we’d never had anything like this happen before. They have never experienced anything like that.”

To follow Hannah’s blog follow this link.

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