My first experience of epilepsy was having a seizure at two and a half years old. At the age of five I had a big seizure and lost the movement of my right side. Where I was right handed before, I then had to relearn to become left handed. It also affected my reading and speech. I had to learn all over again.
I lived in the East End of London and went to Elizabeth Fry School, which was for children with disabilities and learning difficulties. I missed a lot of school. I was hardly there being mostly at Great Ormond Street Hospital. At the age of eleven I had a hemispherotomy operation in Oxford, this was to remove a section of my brain in the hope of stopping my seizures. The seizures did stop and that lasted for six years. During this time I had to relearn my skills, to read and write all over again. In 1986 when I was eighteen I got a head infection. My skull bone was so infected that it had to be taken out and replaced with a metal plate. This is when the seizures started again.
On one occasion in 1999 mum collected me and while we were on the motorway a lorry drove into the back of us. We were both very badly injured and were lucky to be alive. We were both in hospital for sixteen weeks. The metal plate in my head that held my brain had to be taken out and I had to wear a helmet for protection. I had to wait a year before anything else could be done so that I could be free of any infection. In 2001 I had another operation. This was to take some ribs out so as to replace the helmet that held part of my skull together. The helmet was too tight and gave me sores. I also got small bones that started to appear and needed to be taken out. I was at home for a year and then went back to college. I enjoyed college stayed there until 2008.
My Mum and Dad found The Meath, where I have been a resident for just over a year. I like it very much here and I have made lots of friends. I particularly enjoy going to the Arthouse.
Regan working on a group project above and on her own painting below.
Art for me is very relaxing. It takes all my frustrations and worries away. I always said to my family that I could never draw, I always put my self down. I started off drawing very simple pictures. I then became confident to try harder more complex pictures. I now feel confident with my artwork and I like to give myself a challenge. I feel a big sense of achievement when I look at a picture I have completed. I enjoy doing both pictures by myself and also working on group projects as being part of a team.