Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

From seizures to speedway

Nagambie epilepsy sufferer David Parker wants to destigmatise the disease for Purple Day next week.

CHLOE WARBURTON March 18, 2014 4:44am

Nagambie's David Parker was diagnosed with epilepsy almost eight years ago and it had a significant impact on his life.

After almost eight years, David Parker’s epilepsy is under control enough for him to live a full life — the only sign of seizures are the strange auras he sometimes sees.

Mr Parker was diagnosed with epilepsy after a year of questions and doctors appointments, and following a seizure at work where a colleague took him to hospital.

After that, it was a matter of experimenting with medication to find the right dose, but when he suffered a seizure in his car and crashed, doctors decided to double his medication.

The Nagambie resident said he had ‘‘controlled seizures’’, with the only indication of the seizure being the aura he saw.

‘‘I see an aura — everyone sees it differently if they’re having a controlled seizure, but I see an aura. That’s when I know I’m having a seizure that’s being controlled by the medicine,’’ he said.

With his epilepsy under control, Mr Parker said he was a keen speedway racer, but it took a long time to get to this point.

‘‘For a long time when I was having seizures, and especially when I had my licence taken off me, it got pretty depressing,’’ he said.

‘‘I was in a bad state. But having the medication and it all being under control has changed everything. I’ve been speedway racing every week for the last nine weeks. I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.’’

Mr Parker said being a Goulburn Valley Epilepsy Support Group member helped during difficult times, but there was still a stigma surrounding epilepsy.

‘‘I don’t let it bother me too much,’’ he said.

March is National Epilepsy Awareness Month and Purple Day for Epilepsy will be on March 26.

Businesses across Shepparton will be selling Purple Day merchandise to raise awareness.


Goulburn Valley Epilepsy Support Group has monthly meetings on the third Friday of every month from 1.30pm at the Regional Information and Advocacy Council, 190 Benalla Rd, Shepparton. For more information, email or phone the Epilepsy Foundation on 1300852853.

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