Mark is a creative young man to say the least, and his flat is packed with the results of hours spent constructing model railways, painting Warhammer figures and building his own gaming computers. So no different to a lot of guys his age, except that Mark has severe epilepsy
But as Mark says, “I want to live my life as independently as I can, I don’t want to let my condition push that freedom away from me.”
Although epilepsy has had a serious impact on Mark throughout his life, he has made a point of meeting these challenges head on, despite the fact that the unpredictable nature of the seizures has always been a concern. However things changed when Mark was hit by a particularly bad seizure when out alone one evening. While he was lying unconscious on the floor he was robbed, the shock and feeling of vulnerability it caused meant that Mark lost his confidence.
Despite this Mark still wanted his independence, to move out of his family home and into a place he could call his own, but he needed to feel secure and safe. His social worker knew that to successfully achieve this outcome and to give his mum peace of mind, an organisation with specific skills and experience was needed. This was when Walsingham Support was recommended.
“With my epilepsy I need help, that won’t change. The team from Walsingham Support keeps an eye on me when I’m doing things, like my cooking, but most of the time I live on my own. Which is what I want.” explains Mark who’s support package has been built specifically around him.
Until now Mark’s mum thought a residential home would be the best option for coping with his epilepsy, but with the right support Mark has proved that living on his own is the lifestyle that suits him best. At the moment we support Mark at home in the afternoons and at weekends, helping him with things such as visits to the GP, shopping, cooking and walking Sammy his dog. Mark wears an alarm on his wrist to alert the team if a seizure starts or to call for support if he needs it, this alongside his regular support hours, gives Mark the security he needs to live his life as independently as possible.
“I like to go down to the pub every once in a while and enjoy a pint of Guinness extra cold in the summer.”
He has also mixed more with the local community, and with support from the team, has become more outgoing and sociable, something he was keen to develop.
“Walsingham Support gave me the confidence to go back out again. I was afraid to go out and enjoy that independence. Now I go out on trips to Costa where I meet with the other people Walsingham supports, or for my birthday, when Lynn and Paul (Walsingham staff) came with me.”
Mark’s epilepsy remains a challenge, but with the right management it hasn’t stopped him pursuing his passions and meeting new people. His latest project is an aquarium for his flat and he would like to swap model trains for the real thing and with the help of a support worker he’d like to get out and about and do some real trainspotting.
If you, a member of your family or a friend would like some advice around transition support and the options available to you, get in touch via the contact form below and we will be happy to discuss your specific needs.