Kerry man will swim at sea every day in honor of his son with rare epilepsy syndrome

Freddie, the son of Tralee man John Verling, was born with Dravet Syndrome, an epilepsy syndrome that causes developmental delays and many other disabilities.

Freddie, the son of Tralee man John Verling, was born with Dravet Syndrome, an epilepsy syndrome that causes developmental delays and many other disabilities.

There is currently no cure for Dravet syndrome, which begins in early childhood and affects 1 in 20,000 children.

“Freddie had his first seizure at nine months old, but due to lack of awareness he wasn’t diagnosed until he was 18,” John wrote online.

“The diagnosis gave us hope, something to focus on and helped improve Freddie’s life by finally getting him on medication that reduced the ferocity of his seizures.”

To raise funds for Dravet Syndrome Ireland so they can “raise awareness of the syndrome and provide support to families”, John undertakes the grueling task of swimming in the sea every day during the month of November.

The writer and documentary filmmaker swam at Fenit or Banna Beach in Kerry without a wetsuit for five minutes each day.

“The Atlantic is cold this time of year and getting changed before and after isn’t fun either,” he added.

John created a GoFundMe page for the campaign and set a goal of €5,000.

To date, €4,700 has been raised through fundraising for Dravet Syndrome Ireland.

Those wishing to donate to the cause can do so here.

About Michael Bill

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