WHEN Darwen teenager Megan Brandon turned up at school with a black eye her friends thought she had been in a fight.
But the 17-year-old had actually suffered the knock during an epileptic seizure, and now photographs of her injuries have been featured in a national awareness campaign.
The Epilepsy Action charity is hoping people will see the pictures and wonder what has happened to Megan, before considering what life must be like for people with the condition.
Megan, who lives in Sunnyhurst, was diagnosed with photosensitive epilepsy at the age of ten, and has since had about three seizures each year.
The Runshaw College pupil said: “I can live my life normally but when the seizures do happen they are pretty serious.
“In November I’d actually not had any for nearly a year, but then it just happened while I was sleeping.
“I don’t remember anything and I don’t know how I bashed my head.
“But my brother Ben had heard a strange noise and came into my room to make sure I was okay, and my parents took me to hosptial in the morning to get it checked out.
“A lot of people thought I’d been in a fight and were asking me what the other person looked like, and I couldn’t even explain what happened because I wasn’t conscious.
“It’s quite scary not knowing where or when it’s going to happen, because the people around me might not know what to do.”
Megan, who is on daily medication, keeps up to speed with the latest initiatives from Epilepsy Action and sent the photos of her injuries to the charity in November.
She was then chosen to front a national advertising campaign which launched this week.
Philip Lee, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We want to highlight what can happen during a seizure and challenge a few misconceptions at the same time.
“We hope this campaign will challenge stereotyped images of epilepsy and make people think.”
Tonic-clonic seizures, such as those suffered by Megan, are the most common type.
And they make the body become stiff while the arms and legs begin twitching. They normally last for one to three minutes and cause a loss of consciousness.
The person should not be restrained.
But steps should be taken to remove harmful objects from nearby, to cushion their head and aid breathing by gently placing them in the recovery position once the seizure has finished.