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13 May 2016

Alberta fire victims with epilepsy moved to 'caring' homes


Alberta forest fire victims with epilepsy are being supported by the Edmonton Epilepsy Association as part of a consolidated emergency support team.

The team has been locating accommodation in private homes for people with epilepsy and their families since the burning town of Fort McMurray was evacuated on 3 May.

Edmonton Epilepsy Association’s executive director, Gary Sampley explained that the organisation’s directors, staff and members are using their knowledge and understanding of epilepsy to help the displaced fire victims. 

"More comfortable and at ease"

“We believe that those Fort McMurray individuals with epilepsy will feel more comfortable and at ease knowing that there is already knowledge, caring and understanding in their temporary accommodation,” he said.

Access to medication

Fortunately, people with epilepsy affected by the wildfire have been able to access their medication.

 “There are select pharmacies working with Alberta Health Services and people are being directed to those pharmacies once they indicate to the evacuation organizing committee what their needs are,” said Mr Sampley. “I’m surprised at just how organized it is,” he added.

Population affected

To date, an estimated 90,000 people in Fort McMurray and the surrounding area have had to leave because of the fire. Around one in every 100 Canadians is living with epilepsy, meaning that around 900 living with the condition have been affected by the wildfire.

Anyone wishing to donate to the relief effort can do so through the Canadian Red Cross.


Epilepsy Society Helpline

Our confidential helpline is for anyone in the UK affected by epilepsy.

Call: 01494 601 400 (national call rate)
Daytime: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am - 4pm
Extended hours: Wednesday: 9am - 8pm

Read more about the helpline here

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