Mother in emotional call for help to save son’s life

A mother whose son is battling a life-threatening form of epilepsy – for the second time – has made an emotional appeal to the people of Donegal for help.

In August, a heartbroken Charlotte Caldwell made an appeal in this newspaper calling on people across the county to support a campaign, ‘Keep Billy Alive 2’, which she has set up in her son’s name is a bid to save his life.

First diagnosed with Intractable Status Epilepticus shortly after birth, 11-year-old Billy, from Castlederg in County Tyrone, was sent home from the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast in 2006 to die after doctors didn’t believe the young boy – who had been suffering up to 30 seizures a day – could be cured.

However, refusing to give up on her son – and on the back of a major public campaign in the North raising £250,000 – the youngster travelled to Chicago in 2007 to undergo pioneering treatment providing him with a diagnosis and a care plan with the help of expert epitologist, Dr Nordli.


Defying all the medical odds, young Billy survived. In fact, he not only survived, he had, for the first time, an opportunity to enjoy his life through learning to walk, relishing attending school and even taking up horse riding lessons.

However, in a cruel twist, Billy’s deadly seizures returned in the summer.

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