Bravery Award for four-year-old who looks after twin with epilepsy

Anneliese Owens with her award
Anneliese Owens with her award

A four-year-old girl who looks after her twin brother who has epilepsy has received a national award.

Anneliese Owens won the Bravery Award at the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards 2016 earlier this month.

The youngster, who lives near British Sugar in Woodston, is usually the first person to get to her brother Samuel when he is having a seizure, and she will explain to the children at Little Caterpillars Day Nursery in Sawtry what is going on so they do not get worried.

Anneliese’s mum Suzi said: “She will sit with him, stroking his back, saying ‘It’s okay Sammy I’m here’.

“At nursery she will say ‘it’s just a seizure’. She’s reassuring and she just wants to be with him.

“They are really close, but they are still siblings so they fall out. But when he has seizures she is the first one there.”

Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition worldwide and affects 112,000 children and young people in the UK.

Anneliese picked up her award from Steph and Dom Parker of TV show Googlebox at the The UnderGlobe in London, and Suzi said: “I’m so incredibly proud of Annie for winning the Bravery Award.

“Her compassion and reassurance to her brother and others brings me to tears. Seeing her win was a very special moment that I will never forget.

“I know there are lots of other children who live with family members with epilepsy who deserve to be nominated next year.

“It’s a chance to show them how amazing they are and how much they are appreciated.”

Suzi, who said the nursery had been “phenomenal”, said having a child with epilepsy is different to what she expected.

She said: “It’s not what I thought it was. I assumed you can take a pill and everything will be fine.

“Sammy is on three different drugs and they are still coming. It’s not as simple as people think. But I’m so proud of Annie for being there for him. It’s not a burden to her.

“She is proud of herself and took the award to nursery to show her friends.”

Carol Long, chief executive at Young Epilepsy, said; “Congratulations to all of the Young Epilepsy Champions 2016.

“We have had hundreds of nominations from across the UK and this year the judges had a particularly tough time choosing the winners. Every single winner and finalist are truly inspiring people doing incredible things for the epilepsy community.”