Dad with déjà vu who would ‘wake up covered in blood’ diagnosed

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A dad of two was told to "keep an open mind" as he experienced over two years of terrifying seizures.

Peter Burke, 43, experienced his first ever seizure in February 2019.

The Tesco manager from Huyton had been asleep in bed with wife Jane when it came "out of the blue".

Peter told the ECHO : "It was three or four o'clock in the morning and I don't remember much.

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"But I had absolutely ruined a bed set that we had. There was blood all over the place because I had bitten my tongue.

"I came around at the point where there were paramedics standing around me in my bedroom.

"I had never before had any type of seizure in my life."

Peter was taken to hospital and kept in for a few days while doctors ran tests.

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He was put on an anti-epilepsy drug and told he needed to be observed to see if it was working.

He didn't experience another episode for over a month but when he did, it again took him by complete surprise.

Peter said: "The next one that I had I was in work at Tesco. I was sat on my break at a table and my boss was in front of me, and my colleagues were in the canteen.

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"I remember having an aura – an out-of-body experience. I remember looking at my left arm and seeing my body rise out of itself – and that's it. The next thing I remember was there were paramedics in front of me.

"Over the last six months I've had auras of an absolutely horrific smell. I have something called anosmia, which is a condition that means I have no sense of smell good or bad.

"But I've had auras of a smell alongside a déjà vu. Say I've looked at my wife on the couch and it feels like I've lived that moment before.

"Jane tells me I scream or yell out some sort of noise and she knows she needs to get me to safety."

The strange sensations that Peter has just before a seizure are known as auras.

According to the Epilepsy Society, an 'aura' is the term that some people use to describe the warning people can feel before they have a seizure.

The sensations people can experience include déjà vu, an unusual smell or taste, visual disturbances and hallucinations, numbness or tingling, as well as intense emotional reactions.

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Over the past two years, Peter has had over 170 seizures, many of those have been preceded by auras which are then followed by another seizure and convulsions.

Peter said he remembers little of the seizures themselves, and it's only when he comes around does he realise one has taken place.

The condition has meant he been unable to work, but this week, he was finally given a confirmed diagnosis of focal epilepsy, which is when seizures develop in a particular area on one side of the brain.

This, he hopes, will eventually pave the way for him to be able to return to his job some day soon.

Photo Peter with wife Jane and sons Josh, 13, and Louis, 8

Despite his condition, Peter is running 100k for National Epilepsy Week to raise money for the Epilepsy Action charity.

If you want to donate to Peter's fundraising page click here

He said it was the incredible support of his wife, Jane, and their sons Josh, 13, and Louis, 8, and their family friends, that have encouraged him and kept him going.

Peter added: "Jane and my two boys are my world. I just wish that Josh never has to go through again what he did for me on 31st March this year.

"While my wife was out briefly, I had a seizure and my amazing boy stayed calm and dialled 999. A seizure, no matter what type, impacts the whole family.

"I think they feel the emotional scars more than the person actually having the seizures.”

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