A DOTING dad believes his brave little son could be the first person in the UK to be tried on a new treatment for epilepsy.
Oliver Osborn is aged 18 months and he suffers from a condition called migrating partial epilepsy in infancy. He suffers 100 seizures a day.
But his parents, dad Rik and Oliver’s mum Danielle Coils, 28 are hoping a change in his treatment can make a difference and slow down the number of seizures.
The change involves Oliver being given quinidine and it comes after medical experts identified a problem in his genes.
Rik, 30, said: “Oliver has a mutation in the gene named KNCT1. This means he is not producing the right amount of potassium to allow the brain to function correctly.
“This new drug quinidine, which is already used on patients with heart problems, is designed to be a substitute for the missing potassium.”
Oliver’s new medical treatment was also being accompanied by other developments in his health
He said Oliver had been in hospital to have a peg fitted so that his food can go straight to his stomach which his family say is a safer way of feeding him.
Oliver’s strain of the illness affects fewer than 20 children in the country. It can send him into an epileptic state for up to 10 minutes.
Rik said: “Fingers crossed, we shall see a difference with this new treatment. This medication fills the gap and controls the potassium going round and stops so many seizures.”
He said the treatment had already helped others. “They have had some success on other patients in the USA and Germany. We believe Oliver will be the first patient in the UK to try this for epilepsy.”
A fund has also been set up to help pay for research into Oliver’s condition, which sees him suffer up to 100 seizures a day and has an average life expectancy of seven.
The community has been rallying round Oliver and his family as they strive to raise funds.
Earlier this year, an anonymous donor stumped up cash to help Oliver. A white envelope containing a letter and £100 in cash was handed in to the Hartlepool Mail office to help him.
Other forms of support have included a sportsman’s dinner in Peterlee, featuring former England and Southampton footballer Matt le Tissier.