‘Choker-like device could have saved my daughter’ says Norwich mother whose 21-year-old died after epileptic seizure
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2008
A tiny wearable device which resembles a necklace could in the future save the lives of hundreds of those with epilepsy each year, a Norwich family has claimed.
Eve Brown died in 2005, when she was just 21 after she suffered an unexpected epileptic seizure while at university in Stoke-on-Trent.
Her friends called an ambulance and attempts were made to revive her, but she did not survive.
Speaking to this newspaper at the time, Eve's father David Brown said: 'Eve was full of life.
'She had a strong and determined character and loved going out with her friends - they all thought so highly of her. She lived for going to university and she achieved her goal.'
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Now, her mother Denise Brown has said a choker-style gadget, which is worn around the neck at night, would have given the family more reassurance.
It alerts a nearby parent, partner or friend, that their loved-one is suffering from a life-threatening event, such as a pause in their breathing (apnoea) or a change in how their heart beats.
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Mrs Brown said: 'Eve wore a medic alert bracelet, so I know we would have the used a detection device too.
'This is a definite step forward. I know it would have given us all more peace of mind and we would have been more successful in keeping Eve safe.'
Each year, 600 British people die as a result of SUDEP – sudden unexpected death in epilepsy – more than four times the number of babies who suffer cot death.
Mrs Brown said: 'Eve died of SUDEP, what we call a silent killer which few people know about.
'A lot of medical professionals don't even know what it is.'
Along with other bereaved families at charity SUDEP Action Mrs Brown hopes it will prevent other parents from suffering the nightmare of losing a child.
Two million Euros has now been granted from the European Research Council (ERC) to carry out research towards the creation of a wearable device, to pick up and alert to life-threatening signals. It is hoped the device will be available on the NHS to every young person that needs it within six years.
Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, Norman Lamb MP, said: 'Hopefully this incredible device will in the future save lives, provide reassurance for young people, and most importantly today, open a conversation about a risk that for too long has been taboo.'