How one man’s 30-year fundraising crusade has transformed epilepsy treatment in Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 13:49 02 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:49 02 November 2019
For 30 years, Malcolm Porter fought a fundraising crusade to help improve the lives of people living with epilepsy - despite never suffering from the condition himself.
Mr Porter, who lived in Acle, dedicated the last decades of his life to raising awareness of the challenges epileptic people face, as well as organising countless events and activities to raise funds.
The former builder died at the end of 2012, aged 74, having raised more than £130,00 for the Norfolk Epilepsy Clinic Appeal.
Over a 30-year period, Mr Porter and his wife Freda worked tirelessly to help those with the condition, setting up a support group in Acle and Great Yarmouth and organising countless fundraising events, from raffles to carnivals, concerts and more.
His goal was to eventually raise £500,000; his dream for Norfolk to one day have a dedicated clinic specifically for epilepsy.
Now, seven years after his death, his family has been able to see his herculean efforts pay off, with a new diagnosis and treatment facility for epilepsy launched at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
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Julie Porter, his daughter, said: "I know my dad would be thrilled to see his efforts come together to introduce this new service at the NNUH.
"He was so committed to ensuring that the money raised provided direct benefits for people with epilepsy and I can't think of a more fitting way to use his legacy.
"As a very proud Norfolk man, he would have been so pleased to be part of introducing something which will benefit many Norfolk people."
While Mr Porter never lived with epilepsy himself, he witnessed the impact it had on colleagues in the building industry and was inspired to do something to help.
The new facility includes video telemetry technology, which allows hospital staff to monitor patients who have been diagnosed or have the potential for a diagnoses electronically.
This will mean patients will no longer be forced to travel outside of Norfolk to seek such treatment.
Jeff Cochius, NNUH consultation neurologist, said: "Mr Porter was the driving force behind a huge fundraising effort to bring state of the art treatments to epilepsy sufferers; our sincere and grateful thanks go to him, his family and local supporters for enabling the introduction of this new service.
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