Sunderland mam who completed Great North Run seven years to the day her son had his first seizure raises over £500 for epilepsy charity

A Sunderland mam who completed the 13.1-mile Great North Run seven years to the day after her epileptic son first suffered a seizure, has raised over £500 for charity.

Lucy Pearson, 47, from South Hylton, completed the half marathon for her son Peter Pearson, 15, while also raising £538 for the Epilepsy Action charity.

Peter was diagnosed with epilepsy at eight years old, in 2015, after an incident when he returned home from Cubs and his vision became distorted and to the shock of his parents, he became unresponsive for about 15 minutes.

After the ordeal, Peter received medical treatment but went on to suffer another seizure just weeks later, resulting in him being diagnosed with idiopathic generalised epilepsy.

Lucy Pearson, 47, with her son Peter, 15

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Idiopathic generalised epilepsy is caused by problems in the early formation of the fetal brain and symptoms include seizures, temporary confusion, stiff muscles and Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs.

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Recently, Peter’s epilepsy is starting to get worse, with him now suffering around 3-4 seizures a week.

Speaking about the impact of her son’s condition, Lucy said: “Over the years we’ve had some periods when Peter’s seizures were well controlled, but in the past year his seizures have increased, and he is having three-four prolonged seizures a week.

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"This has had a massive impact on school, with Peter missing most of year 10, as he rarely makes it through a full day.

"He then has the tiredness that follows, and this can impact him throughout the week.”

When Peter was first diagnosed, the family knew very little about epilepsy, but praised Epilepsy Action for helping them understand the condition.

Lucy, who works in children’s services added: “When Peter was first diagnosed, the Epilepsy Action website was so helpful.

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"Our knowledge of epilepsy was limited, and the website had so much information that helped us to understand.

"In those early hospital appointments, I’m not sure how much we took in. But having a website to read and digest in our own time was great.”

This year’s edition of the Great North Run was the third Lucy has completed, but the 2022 race felt particularly personal as she ran it seven years to the day since Peter suffered his first seizure and was over the moon to be able to raise money for a cause so close to her heart.

She added: “I’m not a very good runner and I’m not very fast, but I’m passionate about raising awareness of epilepsy.

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"As a parent I often feel a bit helpless.

"I can’t change this for Peter, but I can try to make his life a little easier by helping to raise awareness.”

Epilepsy affects around one in every 100 people in the UK and 87 people are diagnosed every day and the Epilepsy Action charity work to improve the lives of people with epilepsy by campaigning for better services and raising awareness of the condition.

Amy Hesselden, fundraising events officer at Epilepsy Action, said: “We’re so pleased that Lucy ran the Great North Run again this year to raise vital funds and awareness for Epilepsy Action.

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"We’re incredibly grateful to people like Lucy who help us to raise money so that we can support people affected by epilepsy when they need us most.”