BEST OF WEARSIDE: Brave child copes with 100 seizures a day

Rick Osborn and his 10-month-old son Oliver Osborn who suffers from severe epilepsy.
Rick Osborn and his 10-month-old son Oliver Osborn who suffers from severe epilepsy.
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A DOTING dad believes his brave little son could be the first person in the UK to get a new treatment for epilepsy.

Oliver Osborn, aged 18 months, suffers from migrating partial epilepsy in infancy. He suffers 100 seizures a day.

But dad Rik and Oliver’s mum Danielle Coils, 28, are hoping a change in his treatment, in which he is given quinidine, can make a difference and slow down the number of seizures.

Rik, 29, said: “Oliver has a mutation in the gene named KNCT1. This means he is not producing the right amount of potassium to allow the brain to function correctly.

“This new drug quinidine, which is already used on patients with heart problems, is designed to be a substitute for the missing potassium.”

The new treatment will hopefully help Oliver and there’s more good news for the Peterlee youngster. He has also been nominated in the Child of Courage category of the Best of Wearside awards.

Rik, of Peterlee, said the nomination for the Sunderland Echo awards came at a time when Oliver’s medical treatment was also being accompanied by other health developments.

He said Oliver had been in hospital to have a peg fitted so that his feed can go straight to his stomach.

Oliver’s strain of the illness affects fewer than 20 children in the country. It can send him into an epileptic state for up to 10 minutes.

Rik said: “Fingers crossed, we shall see a difference with this new treatment. This medication fills the gap and controls the potassium going round and stops so many seizures.”

He said the treatment had already helped others. “They have had some success on other patients in the USA and Germany. We believe Oliver will be the first patient in the UK to try this for epilepsy.”

A fund has also been set up to help pay for research into Oliver’s condition, which sees him suffer up to 100 seizures a day and has an average life expectancy of seven.

The search is on for even more contenders for this year’s awards.

Our aim is to honour those unsung stars who go the extra mile to help others, and we can only do that if you come forward with nominations.

We have already received entries for contenders in the sporting achievement, community group and child of courage categories.

But we want even more – and that’s where you can help.

Perhaps it’s the unassuming next door neighbour who spends their spare time making a difference in their community.

It may be the reluctant hero who has risked their own safety to help others.

Or it could be the courageous person who has spent their life tackling illness with dignity and bravery.

Whatever the story, we know there are heroes galore out there who are worthy of awards. Tell us all about them.

The awards will culminate in a grand finale at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, November 19.

For now, though, we want you to get in touch with your very own heroes.

•Enter your nominations here