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Norwich woman's bid to educate about epilepsy - with coffee sleeves

PUBLISHED: 15:53 15 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:49 21 November 2016

Georgia Tye with her Be Epilepsy Aware coffee cup sleeve.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Georgia Tye with her Be Epilepsy Aware coffee cup sleeve. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

It is a condition which has left a young woman dependent on those around her, as she has to endure having a seizure every day.

Checklist

On the coffee sleeve, Miss Tye listed the steps you should take if you see someone have a seizure.

A - Assess the situation

C - Cushion their head

T - Time, if the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, then call an ambulance

I - ID, do they have a medical ID?

O - Once over, put them in the

R - Recovery position

N - Never restrain or put something in their mouth

But although Georgia Tye, from Norwich, could easily get down about suffering with epilepsy, the 24-year-old has instead turned her efforts to educating others about what she goes through.

Miss Tye, who has had the condition since she was seven, set herself the task after being approached by charity Fixers, where young people aim to use their past to fix the future.

She started by appearing in a video to show what life with epilepsy was like.

And together with her mother, Melonie Summers, they decided to design a line of coffee sleeves which could educate people.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a conititon that affects the brain and causes repeated seizures.

It is estimated to affect more than 500,000 people in the UK.

This means that almost one in every 100 people has the condition.

Some people may only have a single seizure at some point during their life.

If they do not have a high risk of having further seizures, they would not be regarded as having epilepsy.

“When I have my hair done or just do ordinary things I have to tell people so that they know to look out for me,” said Miss Tye, who also has mild learning difficulties.

“I don’t know when I’m going to have a seizure. I can never be on my own and I always have to have someone with me, but my situation is uncommon.

“More people have epilepsy than others realise, but most can control their seizures.”

Miss Tye said she wanted people to know how to react if someone had a seizure, but she didn’t want to just create a poster.

Georgia Tye's Be Epilepsy Aware coffee cup sleeve.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYGeorgia Tye's Be Epilepsy Aware coffee cup sleeve. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“We thought it would be different creating a sleeve which could be looked at in a relaxing atmosphere, while taking a well-earned coffee break,” she said.

The sleeve, which is designed to go over a takeaway cup, has Miss Tye’s story printed on it, as well as information about epilepsy and what to do if someone has a seizure.

Mrs Summers, a playgroup assistant, said: “It is scary. when she had her first one I thought she was dying.”

And the family – Miss Tye’s stepfather, Kev, sisters Daniella and Jenna, and brother Robson – have had to make changes to their lives and home to adapt to Miss Tye’s condition.

A handful of independent businesses around the city have agreed to use the sleeves, including Deb’s Tea Stall, G’s Coffee Spot, and Marie’s Salad Dodger, plus Silver Fox in Taverham.

But now Miss Tye is hoping more businesses will come forward, whether to use the sleeves for their intended use, or to repurpose them as leaflets.

She is also open to the idea of giving talks, possibly in local schools.

“There are things I’d like to do, I’d like to ride a bike and I’d like to work with children, but I can’t,” she added.

If your business would like to use the sleeves, visit bit.ly/2gBhMeL

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