Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Now We Can Tell Others about These Life-Saving Mats

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Now We Can Tell Others about These Life-Saving Mats

Article excerpt


AN epilepsy sufferer is to take to the small screen to advertise a potentially life-saving bed alarm which has changed her own family's lives.

Vikki Charville, 22, of Coulby Newham, was given the Emfit seizure monitor, a thin, flexible mat which lies under the epilepsy sufferer's mattress, by Richard and Tracy Clarke of Abbie's Love.

Vikki was left with her epilepsy - so severe she cannot be in the room if the flash on a camera goes off - after suffering childhood leukaemia from the age of just nine and then a stroke brought on by a rare reaction to her chemotherapy.

Vikki's body cannot usually come out of a seizure once one begins, and so someone must be there to administer medication - which is why Vikki says the bed alarm has made such a difference.

Vikki's mum Allison said: "The bed alarm has made a massive change to our lives because for the past however many years I've been getting up three or four times a night just to see if she's all right."

Vikki added: "It's taken the stress away from my family and it's helped me to worry less as well because I know that if I'm having a fit in the night someone's going to come."

Abbie's Love was set up by Richard and Tracy Clarke in memory of their daughter, 10-year-old Abbie, who died in 2006 from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

Vikki's family has been one of many given the vital bed alarm by the charity over the past year.

Now Richard and Vikki have been asked to help other people learn about the benefits of the mats by starring in an advert to be screened both on hospital TV and Information TV, which can be found on Sky and digital.

Arranged by Emfit distributor Safety Systems Distribution Limited, the plans are still in the early stages, but filming should start around February.

Richard said: "Because Abbie's Love has bought the most alarms in this country we were asked to do it and Vikki said she'd do it with me. …

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