‘Brain surgery changed my life’ says Uckfield woman

Vicki Horscroft
Vicki Horscroft

An Uckfield woman, who had brain surgery to help control her epileptic seizures, has spoken of the affect it had on her life.

Vicki Horscroft, 43, was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 16.

At first her seizures were successfully treated by epilepsy medicines but when she was 19 her seizures came back and she could have up to 30 each month.

Vicki said: “My seizures used to be really disruptive and unpredictable. I used to have generalised tonic-clonic seizures, as well as focal seizures. My focal seizures meant that I would sometimes talk nonsense in the middle of a sentence and then carry on without realising. By the time I was 21, my epilepsy meant I could no longer do my job. It felt like epilepsy was taking over my life and none of the epilepsy medicines I was taking were helping. In 1995, when I was 23, I was recommended for brain surgery. I was determined to have the operation. My friends and family were very nervous. They saw the risks, but I only saw the light at the end of the tunnel. The only thing I was worried about was having my hair cut off! I came out of hospital seven days after my operation, and went back to work six weeks later still wearing a bandage and a hat. I haven’t had a single seizure since my surgery, that’s nearly 20 years of being seizure free. I now work as a driving instructor, a job that would never have been possible.”

Vicki is now supporting the Seize Control campaign, developed by charity Epilepsy Action in partnership with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), which supports people with the condition. The campaign has been launched in response to statistics which suggest thousands of people could be seizure free with better treatment. As part of the campaign, Epilepsy Action has produced the Seize Control toolkit. It is hoped that this will empower people to seek help from their doctor if they are still experiencing seizures despite taking epilepsy medicines.

Vicki said: “I’m supporting Epilepsy Action’s Seize Control Campaign and would encourage everyone with epilepsy who still experiences seizures to talk to their doctor about other treatments that might be suitable. Brain surgery completely changed my life.”

For more information about the campaign visit epilepsy.org.uk/seizecontrol.