Gift in your will
Amanda Hilton’s battle with epilepsy inspired her to leave a gift in her will to fund better treatments in the future
Making tea for her family one evening, Amanda Hilton suffered severe burns when she lost consciousness and poured boiling water over herself.
Then aged just 18, Amanda needed skin grafts on her right arm and chest. The traumatic accident happened during one of the epileptic seizures she had endured almost daily since early childhood.
Now in her forties, Amanda still has the scars and continues to live with epilepsy, but it no longer dominates her life. 'I have around one or two seizures each year,' she says.
She credits her remarkable improvement to the pioneering brain surgery she underwent in her twenties and the specialist medical care she still receives. She has decided to contribute to epilepsy research by leaving a gift in her will.
Amanda developed the condition after contracting bacterial meningitis aged 18 months. Despite trying every available drug she lived under the constant threat of a seizure.
She and her family explored all the options for a cure, and in 1987 she was referred to the Neurosurgical Unit at the Maudsley Hospital, a centre of expertise in epilepsy.
Her first operation was an experimental procedure that involved inserting electrodes in her brain to record its reactions to the seizures.
'It was very frightening as I was one of only 20 people in the world to have this treatment at that time,' explains Amanda. 'Luckily, the results found that I could benefit from further brain surgery.'
Removing part of Amanda's left temporal lobe was the key to improving her epilepsy, and the occurrence of fits dropped dramatically.
Amanda was also treated the Maudsley Hospital for anxiety and depression, a side-effect of epilepsy surgery. Around 27 years later, Amanda continues to visit the Neurosurgical Unit, now at King's, as an out-patient.
'All the staff have always been extremely professional and supportive and I wanted to give something back through my legacy,' she says. 'Ideally, in the future there will be a cure for epilepsy, but in the meantime there is still so much to understand about the condition.'
Amanda is passionate about helping others who have suffered like her and her legacy will help us to find new ways to treat epilepsy and other neurological conditions.
You too can support any area of the service that is close to your heart by leaving a legacy to SLaM. Contact us for more information.