The five part observational television documentary series follows the lives of five exceptional Irish people. Each week the viewer is invited to spend time with ‘me’, one of a group of people who have allowed cameras to access their lives and to see how they live each day. The central character is given the space and time to share their thoughts, experiences and reflections on their life.
Episode Four ‘Not Out’
There are 37,000 people living with epilepsy in Ireland today. Epilepsy is currently the most common serious neurological condition in Ireland. Those who are diagnosed with epilepsy are living with an invisible condition that most outsiders don’t understand.
26-year-old Emma Beamish, an Irish international cricketer, must live her life by a strict set of rules. However, her epilepsy doesn’t always follow the rules. This is Me – Not Out will examine how Emma Beamish has learnt to live with her with epilepsy.
Emma had her first seizure when she was 14-years-old. She was a boarder in Kings Hospital studying for her Junior Cert. Following her second seizure her school put it down to teenage dieting.
Sport has always been a huge part of Emma’s life. Her love of cricket started in school and a move to England, the home of the game, gave her the opportunity to take it seriously.
Emma was selected to play for Ireland in the 2005 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Epilepsy is characterised by a tendency to have recurring spontaneous seizures caused by excess electrical activity in the brain. Many people who live with epilepsy have an aura, a sensation that warns them when they are about to have a seizure. Emma has no aura. Her seizures occur out of the blue. In November 2006, after seven years seizure free, she had a seizure while sitting in rush hour traffic on the M50. For the next year and a half she had frequent seizures. She began to feel increasingly depressed at the lack of control she had. Her confidence hit rock bottom, she stopped playing cricket, she stopped seeing her friends and had to give up work. Her epilepsy was ruling her life.
Emma has been seizure free for over a year. Emma’s epilepsy has never stopped her achieving anything in her life; it just makes her work a little harder for it.