Lifeline for those living with epilepsy

Melissa Bessenyei and daughter Ellee-Rose are thrilled with the extra support offered through the epilepsy helpline service.

THE Bessenyei family of Padstow Heights are among the winners after Epilepsy Action Australia last week launched a new national helpline specifically for people with epilepsy and their families.

Calls will be answered immediately by a registered nurse trained in epilepsy management, and emails will be responded to within 24 hours. This service is going to be particularly life-changing for people who have limited access to face-to-face healthcare.
Grateful for the support that the helpline will bring, Melissa Bessenyei said: “My daughter Ellee-Rose, 16, lives with epilepsy as well as several other health conditions, including autism, sensory processing disorder and ADHD.
“While sometimes I know I have to call an ambulance for her, other times I just need to talk to someone about what’s happening, to get some objective and professional advice.
“Being able to talk to a trained Epilepsy Nurse on the phone will really help to put my mind at ease.
“When we have to go to hospital, unless there is a neurologist there who specialises in the area, it’s hard to get doctors to understand about my daughter’s condition since her seizures are atypical; doctors are so overworked and they can’t be across everything.
“This service is fantastic because if the doctors need more information, I can just ring up the service and put the Epilepsy Nurse on the phone to them; it will take so much stress out of life.”
The Epilepsy Nurse Line can be accessed from 9am to 5pm seven days a week by phoning 1300 37 45 37 or emailing

To raise support for Autism Australia and Epilepsy Action Australia, Melissa Bessenyei and Diane Simmons have organised a fundraising shopping tour, with all invited to join in the fun and meet at Padstow Railway Station on Saturday, October 19, at 7am. Cost: $60 for 12 years and over and five to 11 years, $20. Includes bus hire, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Return back at 6.30pm. Deposit of $20 due by July 31. For further info, call Melissa on 0478 053 513.