Epilepsy has been a part of Isla’s life since the age of two. In November 2017 Isla, her mum Katie, and ten-week-old brother Flynn were getting ready for a day out when Isla had her first seizure.
“She went blank and unresponsive – it was one of the scariest moments of my life as a mother,” Katie said.
“I was petrified, I had no idea what was happening. I ran to the neighbours in a state of panic and they called an ambulance for me.”
“Everything happened so quickly and it was a very traumatising experience.”
Isla continued to have sporadic seizure episodes over the next three months. After rigorous testing at the Queensland Children’s Hospital including an EEG, MRI, blood tests, urine tests, it was confirmed she had Doose Syndrome – a form of childhood Epilepsy resistant to medication.
After many failed attempts to treat the seizures with medication, her treating clinicians suggested a ketogenic diet – a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Isla has been seizure-free since starting the ketogenic diet and regularly attends a ketogenic diet clinic at the Queensland Children’s Hospital.
Katie said staying true to the diet took a lot of commitment from the whole family.
“It’s definitely not easy to try and monitor exactly what she eats, but it’s a small price to pay if it means Isla can be seizure-free,” Katie said.
“Every four months we go to the Queensland Children’s Hospital where we sit down with Isla’s neurologist, nurse and dietitians to discuss any concerns and have her blood and urine tested.
“Isla is a very resilient little girl, she eats all her keto diet food and never complains. She is a little pocket rocket and loves playing in the home corner at kindy where she gets to put her baby dolls to bed.”
Epilepsy fact sheet
Epilepsy Action Australia