My son Mark was 36 yrs old and leaves behind an 8 year old son. Mark, tragically passed away during a seizure on 10th June 2017. His cause of death was Status Epilepticus. He fell against the bathroom door and was trapped behind it. Sadly, the medics could not get and administer CPR in time. It was shocking and is devastating. I am heartbroken…Mark was diagnosed with epilepsy just over a year ago. It was a life changing illness for him. He had to give up driving, which he missed immensely. Consequently, his social life changed dramatically. He did become despondent and for a short time, he felt isolated. It was sad to see a very gregarious and fun-loving person change. The medication also altered his demeanour – his nature was pretty laid-back, but for a time he suffered mood-swings. Because of this, that particular medication was stopped.His seizures were quite traumatic to witness as they were severe. He was afraid to go out alone with his young son  because he was fearful of having a seizure when they were together, as was once the case. My little grandson was distressed to say the least. His dad was taken to hospital with a head injury again on that occasion.

Mark worked as an auto electrician and was highly respected by his colleagues and manager alike. He was very good at his job and enjoyed it, although it was difficult sometimes and at one time he had to go down to three days a week. I begged him to give it up totally, but he was reluctant, as he did not want the illness to defeat him. He was very courageous and he never moaned.  He had a number of seizures at work, which very often resulted in a trip to the hospital. More often than not he suffered head injuries when falling, which was upsetting. He suffered so much during this last year or so. He went through hard times but, tried to lead as normal a life as possible.

Mark recently met someone new after his previous relationship broke up, more or less due to the stresses of his illness. Things were looking brighter for him and he became positive about his future.

His birthday was May 17th. Upon collecting his things recently, I found the birthday card I had sent him. In it, I wrote that I thought his life would change for the better. His seizures were becoming less – one a fortnight – and he had met a new person and they had booked a holiday. He was looking forward to the summer. He used to play airsoft with friends and he had started doing that again.

Little did I know that three weeks later, the card I had sent him, would be the last birthday card I would ever send to my son.

I never thought that the epilepsy itself would kill Mark, if anything I was more concerned about the continual head injuries he sustained. He had started wearing a rugby skull cap at work, which was highly amusing for his workmates. He loved a joke and had a great sense of humour.

I feel so lost and I keep asking why?

After reading the memorials on this site though, I now know I am not alone. We have all lost to this heart-breaking condition. Hopefully, with medical research, SUDEP or Status Epilepticus will become tragedies of the past.

A light has gone out for many people now that Mark has gone.

We miss him and he will always be near in spirit xxx

– Kay & Colin Westwood (Mum and Stepdad)
Nan Patty & all his many friends and family
July 2017

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