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MP in tears over epilepsy
Conservative MP Claire Perry broke down in tears in the Commons as she recalled the sad death of a 10-year-old boy from epilepsy.
According to The Press Association, Ms Perry, a mother-of-three, became emotional when telling MPs about the death of Charlie Burns who died of SUDEP (sudden unexpected death from epilepsy) after paramedics failed to realise he might have had nocturnal epilepsy.
National Epilepsy Week
The Devizes MP, who hoped to increase awareness of the condition during National Epilepsy Week (20 -26 May) by raising it in the Commons, fought back tears as she said: ‘There is nothing I can say which will bring Charlie Burns back or give his parents any comfort, but I would just really like to make as many people as aware as possible of this issue so we can all make sure these tragedies don't happen again.’
Ms Perry, whose colleague David Amess (Southend West) moved from his seat to comfort her as she sat down, was first alerted to SUDEP when Charlie's grieving parents, serviceman Barrie Burns and his wife Jan, visited her constituency surgery.
Ms Perry told a hushed House that Charlie was a ‘happy, healthy, 10 year old - completely fit and well’, before suffering an epileptic seizure last October.
Unaware of SUDEP
Ms Perry, whose own son turns 10 this summer, said paramedics missed the signs and Charlie died four days later after a second seizure.
‘The reason Mr and Mrs Burns came to see me is they, like me, had never heard of this condition known as SUDEP before this awful tragedy struck their family,’ she said.
‘It is the depth of the personal tragedy and the suddenness of the bereavement which particularly resonated with me.’
The MP, a parliamentary aide to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, was speaking in a general Commons debate before the Whitsun Recess.