The mum of a “severely epileptic” toddler has pleaded to the public for donations towards funding life-changing private treatment.
19-month-old Tia Holt has been diagnosed with a severe complex epilepsy.
Before this recent diagnosis – which is said to have “drastically affected Tia’s lifestyle” – and after spending a total of 11 days in hospital, where she had seizures ongoing for seven hours in clusters, doctors at the Royal Blackburn Hospital had previously found Tia to have a combination of three types of epilepsy – including a rare form of Infantile Spasms – but are now at a loss of what to do going forward.
This has lead her mother, Chloe Cox, to make the vital decision to seek private treatment.
Speaking to The Lancashire Telegraph on the recent diagnosis, which “didn’t come as a shock” but was nevertheless “upsetting”, Miss Cox said: “We got an EEG put in place and [the doctors] came back that to say Tia had got worse with multiple types of epilepsy.
“She has anything from 50 to 200 little episodes a day.
“It’s classed as a disability and it’s like looking after a baby because she cannot sit up or walk [so] it’s very hard”.
She continued: “[Tia] was crying and screaming because they scare her and the doctors did not know what they could do to help her, so I found a private hospital where they have a dedicated specialist in epilepsy in children”.
Miss Cox has identified a specialist able to offer “life-changing” treatment to Tia at the Cheadle-based The Alexandra Hospital, but sadly, the costs – which start at £150 to £250 for the first appointment, with numbers tallying up as treatment plans and appointments continue – are not affordable for the mum alone, which is why she has launched a GoFundMe appeal to raise the funds needed.
“It just feels like we are back to square one.” Chloe added.
“They still do not know if she will be able to walk, so we are just taking it day by day [but we haven’t] got months to wait [as] it could affect her brain”.
Although Chloe admits that Tia still continues to smile and laugh because “she is used to the seizures now”, she has said that her “biggest fear” is that the toddler will one day have a seizure that is so severe she “won’t be able to get her out of”.
Over £3,400 has been raised for Tia’s treatment via the GoFundMe page so far, which Chloe has said she is “so overwhelmed” by.
There is still some way to go before hitting the crucial £5,000 target, but Miss Cox has also made sure to say that as donations continue to rise, any extra funds that are raised above the target amount that is needed, will then be “donated to a children’s epilepsy charity… [to] help other children with this awful illness”.
Every penny counts, and all donations can be made here.
‘Significant risk’ of UK gas shortages this winter, regulator warns
Energy regulator Ofgem has warned that the UK faces a ‘significant risk’ of gas shortages this winter.
According to reports in The Times, the regulator has unveiled concerns that the country could face blackouts over the coming months thanks to an undersupply of gas to Europe caused by Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Warning that a “gas supply emergency” could be looming ahead, the energy regulator has said that some gas-fired power plants could see their supplies cut off, which in turn would stop generators from producing electricity.
The alert comes just days before an expected update from the National Grid on the likelihood of countrywide power cuts this winter.
Responsing to arequest from SSE, which owns several gas power stations, Ofgem outlined what is set to be a huge issue of concern given that the UK relies on large gas plants to produce the biggest share of its electricity supply.
The regulator also pointed to rules that could see power plants penalised as a result of shortages, warning of a worst-case scenario that would see the “potential insolvency of gas-fired generators” caused by rules that require plants to pay huge charges if they fail to deliver on promised quotas.
Adding that the issue must be addressed to prevent a “significant impact on the safety and security of the electricity and/or gas systems”, the regulator echoed concerns now widespread in Europe as its comments followed a similar statement made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) this morning.
Europeans are already being told they must lower their thermostats and boilers in preparation in case gas supplies are cut off, with Paris-based agency IEA warning today that the EU must focus on getting underground gas reserve levels to 90% of capacity in case of a complete Russian supply shut-off.
Preparation are already being made in Europe with the German government having approved a set of energy-saving measures for the winter to limit use in public buildings. In France, meanwhile, companies have already been warned they may face energy rationing this winter.
Whilst the UK government is yet to announce any energey saving measures, Ofgem has said that it expect s“this winter to be more challenging than last year” and that it is taking “reasonable regulatory steps to mitigate and reduce the risks”.