I would like to start a memorial fund to assist with the research into why SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy) occurs and to work towards a cure.Following the sudden tragic death of my 18 year old daughter Enya, due to SUDEP in the early hours of 22nd October 2016, I wanted to raise awareness of this debilitating and life threatening condition. Enya had just started a three year degree in art / graphic design at university.Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions. Over 600,000 people in the UK have a diagnosis of epilepsy. 32,000 people in the UK are newly diagnosed with the condition every year. 1,100 people die as a result of epilepsy around 600 of them are young men and women under the age of 30. SUDEP is associated with epilepsy and leads to sudden death. From current research it is thought that it happens when a seizure stops the heart or breathing for a certain length of time. The heart may stop for several seconds.
Enya was diagnosed with nocturnal epilepsy at the age of 14. Enya was a happy, loving, intelligent, wacky fun girl with a great sense of humour, a natural born artist and graphic designer, loved by all and greatly missed.
I believe that research is essential if we are to find safer new treatments with no side effects or one day a cure or a greater understanding of the condition that may lead to those things. By supporting Epilepsy Research UK we can help provide funding to help with the research that will help to change lives. This is something we can all do together.
– Orla McDonnell, November 2018
To make a donation to Enya’s memorial fund, please use the link below.