FRANTIC parents are desperately seeking medication they hope will slow down the rate of their baby’s severe epilepsy.
Little Oliver Osborn suffers up to 100 seizures a day, and has little quality of life.
He is 11 months old but his parents Danielle Coils, 28, and Rick Osborn, 29, say he is “just like a newborn” because he is always so heavily sedated to control his condition.
He requires an emergency drug four times a day, and medics are carrying out tests to determine the exact type of aggressive epilepsy Oliver has.
But a tearful Danielle said: “If it’s the condition we think it is, he will only deteriorate to a point where it will take his life. “What we are trying to do is find the medication that will slow it down.”
To help Oliver, kind-hearted retired chimney sweep Bob Waite is setting out on a mammoth charity journey, from Land’s End to Berwick, using nothing but his bus pass.
Bob, 63, raised £1,200 for the broken church bell at St Andrew’s Church in his native Blackhall by embarking on a similar, penniless journey from Folkestone, Kent, to Blackhall in 2012.
A medic who discharged Oliver from hospital after he was born first spotted his seizures, but put it down to normal infantile spasms.
But after leaving hospital, the seizures got progressively worse, from five a day to 10, then around 30.
He then spent five weeks in Sunderland Royal hospital and six months in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
Danielle, who lives with Rick, who is Oliver’s carer, and their son Charlie, three, in Wadham Close, Peterlee and works for Hays Travel in Sunderland, said: “It’s aggressive by the fact none of the drugs are helping.
“The doctors believe they know what type it is, but they can’t tell us until we’ve had the results of genetic tests.”
Medics believe Oliver has migrating partial epilepsy, which is very rare and can affect development.
The family, who are being supported by the Epilepsy Action charity, have visited a consultant at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, who also believes Oliver has this form of epilepsy.
Tests will be carried out on Oliver to determine whether he can have surgery or whether only medication can help.
Meanwhile the local community is rallying round to help buy equipment like activity chairs for Oliver.
Bob, of Arnold Avenue, Blackhall, reckons this will be “the longest bus ride in England”, starting on March 15 and he hopes to be back in six days.
The dad-of-two who is married to Denise, 62, said: “What’s a week out of my life to help this little boy? It’s nothing.”
Bob had to sleep in a bus shelter, railway station and Tesco branch last time, but he won’t be sleeping rough this time – he will be paying for rooms in bed and breakfasts.
l To sponsor Bob, please call (0191) 5879904.