The inspiring work of art that helped a young epileptic woman win an award


A teenager who uses his severe epilepsy as inspiration for his art has won a national award.

James Bletsoe, 19, received the inspiring Shining Star award at the Young Epilepsy Champion Awards in London.

Accepting his trophy at the UnderGlobe, Bankside on Wednesday night, James, of Bridgend, urged others on the condition of: “Never give up.”

He said: “It’s amazing to earn an inspiring shining star.

“I have never won anything before”

“The Young Epilepsy Champions Awards are a unique opportunity and I have never won anything like this before.

“All the other stories were great.

One of the photos of James, which was inspired by his fits

“I would like to say a big thank you to my mother for naming me, she has been a great help to me and she is my inspiration.”

Originally, James was misdiagnosed with autism, and even after receiving the correct diagnosis, doctors found his condition was drug resistant and his seizures worsened.

He found school difficult, but got a place at Bridgend College and excelled so much that he has to start a basic art class this year.

An example of James’ art some of which were inspired by his fits

James draws how he feels his seizures manifest and the resulting artwork formed his major final year project.

The job was the reason he was offered an interview at Cardiff University.

His positive attitude towards his condition led him to be shortlisted for the awards, which are now in their fourth year.

Epilepsy is the most common neurological disease in the world and affects 112,000 children and young people in the UK.

James won the award for his work

James’ mother Freya Sykes-Bletsoe, who saw him receive the award alongside his father Steve, said it was a “life-changing” experience for her son.

“It opened his eyes to what he is capable of achieving and becoming,” she said.

“I hope the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards inspire other young people to believe in themselves and not to let a diagnosis get in the way.

“If you have a positive outlook on life, anything is possible. “

Young Epilepsy Managing Director Carol Long said: “We have received hundreds of nominations across the UK and this year the judges have struggled to pick the winners.

“Each winner and finalist are truly inspiring people who are doing amazing things for the epilepsy community.”

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