A woman from Ripon is taking on the challenge to run a 10k race for her daughter who has epilepsy. Anna Warrington has challenged herself to complete the annual Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k this March for her six-year-old daughter, Sophia.
Sophia had her first seizure when she was just 5 weeks old. Anna said:
She was asleep in the front room, and I was in the kitchen when I heard an odd cry. When I went to check on her, she looked pale and something didn’t seem right but I wasn’t sure what it was. I now know that she’d already had the tonic part of a seizure, which is when the muscles tighten and the body goes stiff. We took her to hospital, but she didn’t have a temperature and her observations were fine, so we were discharged shortly after.
The following day, Sophia was in the sling on my front and suddenly went totally solid and held her breath. I thought she was choking and I can honestly say I thought she was going to die. We went back to the hospital and this time she was admitted. Things soon escalated and the seizures came thick and fast.
Sophia was diagnosed with epilepsy at 6 weeks old. 7 months later, after countless tests, Sophia was diagnosed with a genetic defect of the SCN8A gene resulting in epilepsy and global development delay.
Now 6 years old, Sophia is making good progress and makes Anna proud each day.
Sophia is able to sign some Makaton, say some words and can walk holding our hands or with her walker. She makes us so proud every single day. It doesn’t matter what is thrown at her, she always comes back stronger. Her determination to do and achieve new things is admirable. Watching Sophia progress makes me want to be the strongest person I can be for her. Everyone she meets leaves with a smile and is happier for seeing her.
Despite the progress Sophia is making, the constant fear of seizures has a huge effect on the family.
We don’t like to go where there’s no phone reception just in case we need an ambulance. If Sophia isn’t with us, we always have our mobiles with us so we can be contacted at all times. It’s emotionally draining constantly being on high alert.
The pressure that seizures put on us as a family is difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it. We are mum and dad one second and nurses the next, making sure Sophia’s in the recovery position and checking that she’s breathing correctly. If we’re in a period of Sophia having lots of seizures, we’re unable to focus on anything else. We feel we can’t leave her for any reason, even to go to the loo, and our stress levels are unbelievably high.
Anna is running the Bradford 10k to raise money for Epilepsy Action so it can continue supporting families affected by epilepsy.
I started running a number of years ago and I did the Couch to 5k with my local running club. I progressed from 5k and completed the Bradford 10k back in 2019. This was my first 10k so I was nervous, but I had a good group of friends running it with me. The atmosphere at the finish line was great and it was even better to know I did it for Epilepsy Action. I’ve hardly run in the last year, but I was determined to complete the Bradford 10k again this year. It’s also great motivation to get me back into running!
The Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k will take place on Sunday 12 March 2023. Since it began in 2008, runners have raised over £600,000 for the charity and over 15,000 runners have crossed the finish line.
Louise McCormick, Running Events Coordinator at Epilepsy Action, said:
We’re delighted that Anna will be returning to the Bradford 10k this year and she’ll be one of many runners crossing the finish line for a fantastic cause. Money raised from the Bradford 10k helps us to support people affected by epilepsy, like Anna and Sophia, when they need us most. We wish Anna the best of luck in the race and hope to see her back again next year!
For more information about the Epilepsy Action Bradford 10k or to sign up, visit epilepsy.org.uk/bradford or call the events team on 0113 210 8881. The closing date for entries is Wednesday 8 March 2023, subject to availability.