“Our daughter Sinead had been experiencing fairly regular epileptic seizures as a result of an acquired brain injury she suffered at 6 weeks old (in addition to other disabilities that resulted from her injury). Despite taking medication, she continued to have seizures without warning through both day and night, which increasingly occurred at night time as she grew older. In my attempts to be there when my daughter needed me, I tried a baby monitor with a camera, but as her seizures weren?t accompanied by noises, the monitor did not wake us up as we?d hoped. We searched unsuccessfully for a long time for a ?gadget? that could help us to keep Sinead safe so it was a massive relief to finally discover that the Companion was out there and could potentially help us!”

Mary at Alert-iT was very helpful and explained how many families receive their equipment through their local councils and she gave me the details of the Assistive Technology Team at Nottinghamshire County Council. The Council arranged for us to receive a Companion Monitor and a whole host of other Assistive Technologies that have allowed Sinead to become more independent, have simplified our lives and given us peace of mind.

Over the last few months, we have watched Sinead grow in confidence as she puts the new technology to use, but for us it is the Companion that has had the biggest impact on our lives. I am now able to sleep properly without getting up to check out every little noise and Sinead?s sleep routine has also improved as she can rest assured that I will be with her if she needs me. An added benefit of the Companion is that I can be with Sinead as soon as her seizure starts ? allowing me to time it accurately and monitor her symptoms ? information I can pass on to the paramedics to help identify the seizure type, which I previously wasn?t able to do. We now have the Companion Mini which we use when we go on holiday or when Sinead stays with a friend overnight.

Sinead is now 18 and will start college in September. When I think back to the original prognosis we were given, I am amazed at her progress and how much she has achieved through her determination to do the things that other young people do. We are still discovering new technology that can take Sinead?s independence further and although these assistive technologies have taken many years to cross our paths, I am blown away by their potential and the difference they have made to our lives. I hope other parents and carers will find the right assistive technology for the people they care for ? I only wished we had discovered them years ago!

My sincere thanks go to Nottinghamshire County Council?s Assistive Technology team and Alert-iT for improving the quality of our lives.

Catherine Northey

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