SUDEP Action's Jane Hanna Receives Global Impact Award on Epilepsy
Jane Hanna CEO of Wantage based charity SUDEP Action was awarded the Social Accomplishment Award in Epilepsy. The award, given out by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) is one of the highest honours from medical and patient organisations working in the epilepsy field. It was presented by Solomon Moshe, President of the ILAE and Mike Glynn, President of the IBE in Montreal.
Thousands of epilepsy specialists and epilepsy activists heard from Samuel Wiebe, the Director of the 30th International Epilepsy Congress on how Jane’s work over 22 years had made a difference in transforming research and policy and services in epilepsy.
Professor Shorvon, Chair of the ILAE (British branch) representing UK doctors and nurses who nominated Jane Hanna OBE for the award said: “She had the vision and commitment to use her experience to throw light on the largely unrecognised issue of epilepsy mortality…22 years of conviction, enthusiasm and refusal to be deflected have resulted in a seismic shift in thinking and practice on SUDEP and epilepsy mortality not only in the UK, but internationally. She has led the field successfully desensitizing SUDEP and epilepsy mortality and bringing it to the fore as a driver for improvements in care for people with epilepsy and their families”.
Today epilepsy is recognized in the top ten of all causes of early death, yet 22 years ago a myth persisted in the medical community that people could not die from epilepsy. Jane was one of 5 women who began a campaign on Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) in the 1990’s.
Jane commented: “This award for work on SUDEP and epilepsy mortality is the best marker yet of how much progress has been made since the dark days when SUDEP was too sensitive to be talked about. It reflects the passion and commitment of all the advocates of the SUDEP cause and the researchers and scientists who have travelled the same road with us over so many years. The award gives us all great impetus for our future programme of action to prevent deaths”.
Jane dedicated the award to all those who played a part in the work of SUDEP Action from the founding of the charity as Epilepsy Bereaved in 1995 to the organisation it is today.
For more information on the award visit: http://www.ibe-epilepsy.org/montreal-awards-2013/.