Chippenham brother nominated for a caring award

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Ellery family Emma, Antonio, John and Declan at home in Chippenham The Ellery family Emma, Antonio, John and Declan at home in Chippenham

Young Declan Ellery is a very special big brother because, despite being only seven years old, he knows exactly what to do if his younger brother suffers an epileptic seizure.

His mother Emma has nominated Declan, a pupil at St Paul’s Primary School in Chippenham, for a Champions Award in a competition being run by the charity Young Epilepsy.

Declan, of Moorlands, Chippenham, was only four when Antonio, now five, suffered his first fit.

Now he is capable of helping his parents by always being on his guard for Antonio suffering one of his many “vague” episodes.

Mrs Ellery, 30, said: “Declan is a brilliant help. He knows when to get his medication and if they are playing he is always watching to make sure he isn’t having one of his vagues, which is a mild sort of seizure which makes him go absent.

“We have to care for Antonio 24 hours every day, and so having Declan helping is a huge boost.

“He is very grown up for his age and Antonio absolutely adores him. When I saw publicity about the awards I just thought I had to nominate Declan as he is such a big help to us.”

Mrs Ellery and her husband John, 30, first realised something was wrong with Antonio almost three years ago when they woke at about 5am to hear him making strange choking noises.

“We were very worried and scared so I rang for an ambulance and we were taken to hospital but, after he was examined, we were sent home and told it was unlikely he would suffer another fit.”

Unfortunately the next morning the same thing happened and once again the family had to call an ambulance.

On the third occasion a couple of weeks later Declan witnessed his brother fitting and was upset to see him ill.

But now Declan understands what he has to do if Antonio is unwell and takes any problems his stride.

Doctors now have Antonio’s fits under control and he has not suffered a major seizure for two years.

But his development is slow and he attends St Nicholas School for children with special needs in Chippenham.

Mrs Ellery said: “He is active but his speech is a bit slow. We have been told that his epilepsy may mean that he could lose some of the abilities he already has, so that is a worry.”

A spokesman for Young Epilepsy said: “These national awards recognise the outstanding contribution of individuals, groups and organisations across the UK and help raise awareness and understanding of epilepsy and improving the lives of children and young people living with the condition.”

The award winners will be announced on March 26 at a ceremony at London City Hall.

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