Sarah Reid: How my Daughter Layla (age 7) wrote a book

Epilepsy for Kids - Book CoverSarah Reid (Bristol Epilepsy Support Group member) explains how her seven-year-old daughter Layla has written a book, “Epilepsy for Kids”, for children who have a family member with Epilepsy,

Epilepsy for Kids by Layla Reid, published by Pomegranate Books, Bristol £6.50 (p&p free for limited period).

(or CLICK HERE – to buy Epilepsy for Kids by Layla Reid , on Amazon )

“I had been hunting high and low for ages to find a book explaining epilepsy to my seven-year-old daughter Layla. I have come across so many books aimed at children who have epilepsy and adults who have epilepsy – but nothing for a child who has a family member with epilepsy.

Layla has witnessed me having seizures many times. At the worst point I was having five seizures a day.

I remember her getting so upset at times when I have been semi-conscious that I felt like crying. On one occasion I had a seizure at my parents’ house. I was surrounded by paramedics. My dad was trying to reassure her in the kitchen as she was screaming for me. I just wanted to run and tell her “It’s ok. Mummy’s here”. But I couldn’t, as my body wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do.

I feel useless at times and want Layla to understand why I can’t always do the things that mummies are supposed to do, like baking cakes together when we’re on our own or preparing the tea. Last time I tried I had a seizure and my husband Mark came home to a kitchen full of smoke. The thought that I could have set the house on fire and hurt Layla fills me with horror. I would have never forgiven myself.

I want Layla to understand why I can’t drive, why I always have to rely on others for lifts and why I can’t have a bath or shower when I’m on my own. I want her to understand why I worry about my clothes and whether anyone can see the incontinence pads which I wear in case I have a seizure and lose control of my bladder. This can be very upsetting and embarrassing.

I really hoped that finding a book to explain epilepsy would help Layla to understand these things.

Then I noticed that Layla was carrying around a notepad and pen. Inside she had drawn pictures and written about me and my seizures. It was things like, “Mummy has written front and back door on her keys so I can open the door and let the ambulance people in.”

That was when it struck me that perhaps Layla could write a book for children who have a parent with epilepsy.

Seeing the book now makes me so happy and proud of Layla. Each page has a simple drawing and explanation in Layla’s own words about how seizures affect everyday life. I hope it will let other children know they are not alone. I hope that by explaining about seizures it will help them to cope.

Since the book has been published I have met some amazing people, many of them with epilepsy, and some who have friends or relatives with epilepsy. One lady said she wished Layla’s book had existed when she was a girl as her brother has epilepsy and his seizures used to terrify her. She didn’t know what they were or what to do.”

The media has shown an incredible amount of interest in the book, both locally and nationally, and with the help of the Bristol Epilepsy Support Group and Epilepsy charities in the UK, such as Epilepsy Society and Epilepsy Action, I am confident we can do a lot to raise awareness about epilepsy.

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Epilepsy for Kids by Layla Reid, published by Pomegranate Books, Bristol £6.50 (p&p free for limited period).

(or CLICK HERE – to buy Epilepsy for Kids by Layla Reid , on Amazon )

 

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