Bath time beck­ons

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CANDLER

IN the blink of an eye, cousins Alex Marsh and Beth Wolozny went from be­ing fiercely in­de­pen­dent and ac­tive 20-year-olds to need­ing a chap­er­one to have a bub­ble bath.

Ms Marsh (24) was a keen wa­ter polo player study­ing ar­chi­tec­ture when she was di­ag­nosed with a rare form of com­plex par­tial epilepsy in 2010.

“I start shak­ing on my left side and my hand curls up so we jok­ingly call it ‘the claw’, but I also have pretty scary con­tin­u­ous seizures called sta­tus epilep­ti­cus,” the Subiaco res­i­dent said.

“When I was first deal­ing with the med­i­ca­tion I would say ‘no, I’m fine, I’m fine’ but I was sleep­ing 20 out of 24 hours in the day.

“I couldn’t do any­thing for a whole year. I had to give up al­co­hol, caf­feine, driv­ing, a nor­mal diet, go­ing out with my friends. Even now I am not al­lowed to swim with­out a buddy.

“A lot of peo­ple wouldn’t know this, but epilep­tics can drown in even the small­est amount of wa­ter.”

To mark Na­tional Epilepsy Aware­ness Month and Pur­ple Day on March 26, Epilepsy Australia is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to ac­cept the Bub­ble Bath Chal­lenge, snap a selfie in the tub and post it to so­cial me­dia.

Although Ms Wolozny (31) was di­ag­nosed five years be­fore her cousin, she said they ex­pe­ri­enced the same frus­tra­tion and help­less­ness with the dis­or­der. “I had been for a swim and run

along Cottes­loe beach, went into the OBH, had one drink and fell on the con­crete,” she said.

“Other peo­ple at the bar prob­a­bly thought I was just re­ally drunk, but that was my first seizure.

“From there, once I went on med­i­ca­tion, the seizures started more and more. As a 21year-old girl, I put on 30kg very quickly.

“It was a dark time. I went from be­ing an in­de­pen­dent per­son to al­most to­tally de­pen­dent. I fought that so much.”

Visit www.give.ev­ery­day­hero.com/au/epilep­syaus­trali­abub­ble­bathchal­lenge.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d434062

Beth Wolozny and Alex Marsh.

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