A toddler with a rare condition was hospitalised after getting ‘too excited’ during a visit to Peppa Pig World.
Lola Sheldon, three, suffers from a rare gene abnormality that has left her with epilepsy and delays in her development.
Her parents Carly Whing and Luke Sheldon, both 27, have to be careful to not let Lola get too excited as it can trigger the seizures.
After celebrating her third birthday at Peppa Pig World in August 2020, Lola spent several days in hospital as she suffered from a series of epileptic fits, thought to be caused by excitement.
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On a separate occasion, Lola was admitted to intensive care after suffering a seizure. This has meant her parents now have to try to manage her excitement and keep her as calm as possible.
Lola's mother, Whing said: "We've come to terms with the fact that Lola's trigger is having too much fun. But it is really hard having to intervene when she's enjoying herself. It's just heartbreaking to see your daughter having a great time only to worry she will end up in hospital if she gets too excited.
"Her seizures tend to happen when there's a lot going on around her. She overstimulates her brain from having too much fun and then she has a seizure.
"It's very scary. We can be sat in the emergency department for hours whilst they put loads of drugs in her to try and make the seizures stop.”
Whing adds that there is a chance that Lola could stop breathing when she is having one of her fits.
"If she goes to a children's party I have to monitor her closely and if I think she is getting too excited I have to take her out of the room,” Whing continues.
Lola was diagnosed with the rare gene abnormality when she was just four months old and suffered a seizure in the middle of the night in December 2017.
Whing was in bed next to Lola's moses basket when she woke up to find her baby “shaking uncontrollably” as she experienced her first seizure.
Lola was rushed to hospital where she underwent blood tests, an MRI scan, a CAT scan and a lumbar puncture.
"The first time she had a seizure, it was really frightening,” Whing adds. "I had no idea what was happening, I was just screaming and bouncing around the bedroom, not knowing what to do.
"I could hear this repetitive movement of her arms against the side of the moses basket so I looked over and she was just shaking and fitting. It was just awful.”
Before Lola was diagnosed, Whing said she didn’t know “anything” about epilepsy.
"The doctors knew it was an epileptic fit but they couldn't understand why and then they had to do all these tests to find out it was from a gene abnormality,” Whing adds.
The gene abnormality that Lola has can result in many different conditions such as epilepsy, autism, OCD and ADHD. Doctors have confirmed that Lola has epilepsy as well as showing signs of delay in her development and she will be on medication for the rest of her life.
Lola’s older sister Brooke, 10, who doesn’t have the abnormality, has had to adjust how she spends time with Lola too.
"It's hard because my daughter Brooke has had to readjust her life as well - she's quite calm now for a 10-year-old, she can't be running around and shouting,” Whing explains.
"She helps a lot with Lola too, she's amazing and really great with her.”
Whing says she had a bag packed permanently in case they need to go to hospital.
"You can never fully relax but we have become used to Lola's condition. It has become a way of life."
A GoFundme campaign has been set up by friends to help raise money for lifesaving epilepsy equipment for Lola. To donate visit, gofundme.com/lolas-epilepsy-equipment-fundraising
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