The family and friends of a Fermanagh woman living with West Syndrome recently completed a fundraising climb of Cuilcagh Mountain as part of a 100 mile challenge in 100 days, raising over £2,000 for the Epilepsy Society UK on his behalf.
Hannah Baxter has suffered all her life from West Syndrome, which manifests as epileptic seizures almost daily. For 33 years, she has required 24/7 care.
The Group of Climbers! The photo is missing Helen Lyttle, Hannah’s cousin, when she took the photo.
In February 2019, Hannah was referred to a specialist hospital in Norfolk, England.
Speaking to The Impartial Reporter, Hannah’s sister Naomi Morrison explained that Hannah’s treatment plan was initially for six months but then Covid hit.
“She ended up staying there for two and a half years.
“It was awful for Hannah and us as a family – due to lockdown and hospital restrictions we were unable to visit her. Hannah did not see any family members for 18 months” , Naomi said, calling Hannah the “nucleus” of her family: “We absolutely adore her.”
Naomi went on to explain that when Hannah got the treatment she needed in Norfolk and was ready to go out, the family hit another stumbling block.
“There was no proper provision for Hannah in Northern Ireland. Her condition was now such that she could no longer be cared for at home – truly heartbreaking for mum and dad, and for all of us.
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“Fortunately, after hard work from her consultant and social workers, a provision was secured in County Cavan,” Naomi said, noting that Hannah now resides there and receives 2:1 care 24 hours a day. , 7 days a week, for which his family is “very grateful”. .
“We can come and visit Hannah anytime and in fact, as a real Mother’s Day treat, Hannah was able to make the trip all the way to Lisbellaw to spend a few hours with mom and dad,” she said. added.
So grateful to have brought Hannah back to Irish soil, Naomi explained that she and her family wanted to do something in return.
“I follow the Epilepsy Society UK and noticed they were planning a ‘Challenge 100’ fundraising event. The idea was to walk 100 miles in 100 days.
“The 100 days started in January 2022 and ended on April 10. To add a little extra to the challenge, I suggested to family members and friends that we should climb Cuilcagh on April 10 to celebrate the successful completion of the challenge,” Naomi said.
On April 10, “Team Hannah,” made up of Hannah’s friends and family all wearing purple Epilepsy Society “Challenge 100” t-shirts, embarked on their ascent of Cuilcagh to support what Hannah and thousands others in the UK have to suffer because of this quality of life limiting condition. With West Syndrome, there is no telling when or where the next seizure will occur, each causing further damage to the brain and cognition.
Hannah’s parents, Noel and Eva Baxter, and Edwin and Margaret Morrison (my in-laws) who came to greet us on the way down.
The team was very successful, reaching the top and returning to base in good time.
“My stepfather Edwin Morrison even took on the 100 mile challenge. Edwin underwent life threatening surgery during Covid and a heart attack, in the middle of his 100 challenge he also had a defibrillator fitted and still managed to complete the 100 miles before many of us! Naomi said.
“We have been totally overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of friends and family, both through the Facebook fundraising page and personal donations. Initially we thought if we raised £500 for epilepsy it would be wonderful,” said Naomi, noting that the total raised is now over £2,000, far exceeding their expectations.
“Our total is now just over £2,000 with some more donations to come.
“The overall total that the Epilepsy Society has raised through Challenge 100 is £84,575. Every penny raised will be used to help improve the quality of life for people living with epilepsy,” Naomi told this log.