A family from the borough is urging residents to recycle ink cartridges for the NHS following a mum’s five-year battle with epilepsy.
Kelly Blakeley required three major brain operations after she was diagnosed with the condition when she suddenly started experiencing seizures.
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The mum-of-three spent a number of weeks in hospital at the Walton Centre in Liverpool and, with her hopefully now on the road to recovery, the whole family is now keen to give something back to the health service.
They have therefore joined a scheme which enables people to give £1 to a chosen good cause every time they prevent an empty cartridge going into landfill.
The Blakeleys have picked Epilepsy Surgery Friends, which Kelly said provided a vital support network in her darkest moments going through the operations and recovery stages.
The Leigh 36-year-old said: “There were no triggers to my seizures, they just came out of the blue. It was a real shock for me when they did the tests and diagnosed me with epilepsy.
“It has been quite a lot for us over the five-year period. I’ve been back and forth to hospital and had three different lots of brain surgery. I was in hospital for a few weeks for each one.
“I’m recovering from the surgery now and it has been coming up to nine months without having a seizure.
“We decided to do a bit of fund-raising a few months ago. We also want to raise awareness about epilepsy. I felt very excluded when I had epilepsy, like I was alone. People don’t have to feel like that.
“I met people through Epilepsy Surgery Friends, which is for people finding out they’ve got epilepsy or going down the surgical route.
“There are a lot of members of the group who have been in the same situation and they have offered me so much support.
“They were there every step of the way. To be honest, if it wasn’t for that group I think I would be in a box now.”
Kelly’s fund-raising has been enthusiastically taken up by the rest of her family, made up of her partner Daniel Leyland and daughters Natasha, Aleesha and Mia.
Kelly says she intends this to be the first of a number of fund-raisers for Epilepsy Surgery Friends and the NHS as she is hoping to do more events when she is more fully recovered.
She strongly praised the care given to her by staff at the specialist centre in Liverpool.
The family is fund-raising using Recycle 4 Charity, which offers the chance to turn a massive 188 different ink cartridges into cash for charities.
Anyone signing up will be asked which charity they want to support and then receive freepost recycling bags which can hold up to five cartridges at a time or boxes for bigger quantities.
Those wanting to support Kelly and her family should register to back Epilepsy Surgery Friends at www.recycle4charity.co.uk/inkjetcartridges