There is nothing all that unusual about a 16-year-old becoming a bridesmaid.
But for Kirkham mum Paula Fallows it’s a day she never thought she would see.
Paula’s daughter Katie Wright has endured all kinds of difficulties as a severe epilepsy sufferer. The condition left Katie with a number of different types of seizure which meant the teenager was not able to enjoy the same experiences as many other young girls.
“Katie has special needs,” explained Paula. “Over the years she has endured all kinds of difficulties. She couldn’t sleep and at times was violent towards me. We could not even have a day out as a family and normal holidays would be impossible.
“It was a terrible worry, I did not know what they future held for Katie. I was always worried about what she would be like at home – what problems would the day bring.”
But then doctors at Blackpool Victoria Hospital changed Katie’s medication and she became a different child.
Paediatric consultant, Dr Nigel Laycock explained: “Katie’s epilepsy could be troublesome at times with lots of different types of seizures and absence “blank” episodes. This meant taking part in day-to-day activities was particularly difficult.
“Recently, we have changed to a different combination of anti-convulsant medications for Katie and this has led to fewer seizures which has been great news.
“Katie is always a very positive and happy person,” Dr Laycock added, “but everyone has noticed that the new medication regime has also given her more energy and concentration. Most importantly, Katie has noticed this herself and the biggest thing for her now is that she is about to become a bridesmaid.
“She is over the moon about this and we are awaiting the photos from the big day!”
Paula added: “Katie has become sociable, she understands social skills and she is able to join in with every day family life.
“It’s as if someone has taken my little girl away and in her place I have this wonderful child who is good company, a pleasure to be with and fun to spend time around.
“Katie is going to be a bridesmaid at her aunt and uncle’s wedding in October. She has already been for a fitting and chosen her dress, she is really looking forward to it. I never thought something like this would have been possible for Katie.
“Her school, Red Marsh, have also noticed a tremendous improvement in Katie, she is eager to learn now and her attention span has improved. This means Katie is able to try new things. Her understanding of her surroundings has improved and she enjoys interacting with the family.
“I do not know what I would have done without Blackpool Victoria Hospital and Dr Laycock who has been so efficient and caring,” Paula added. “If I have any problems I can just pick the phone up and ask him. He keeps in regular contact and is genuinely interested in Katie’s progress. Everyone in the Children’s Clinic has been amazing”.