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Epilepsy Awareness Day

On Wednesday March 23 I spoke on Epilepsy Awareness Day in response to a Ministerial Statement,  My comments are below: 

Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, much greater awareness of epilepsy is badly needed. There has been much progress in the treatment of epilepsy in recent years, including major advances in imaging tech­niques to understand the focus of epileptic seizures and in the surgical treatment of epilepsy.

      Lillian Moore, when she was 15, had such brain surgery performed by Dr. Demitre Serletis at the Children's Hospital in Winnipeg. Dr. Demitre Serletis was leading a team to treat children with epilepsy and used a novel Zeiss Kinevo 900 neuro microscope to see the area of concern very clearly so that the surgical procedure could be made easier. It was reported in April 2019 that Lillian had been seizure‑free for almost a year.

      Last year, December the 2nd, I was at a Doctors Manitoba Awards dinner where Dr. Serletis received a major award for his groundbreaking work in de­velop­ing a collaborative multidisciplinary team look­­ing after children with epilepsy. His activities led to the opening of the first pediatric epilepsy monitor­ing unit in Manitoba. Dr. Serletis was able to provide these successful surgeries of a type that hadn't been done before in Manitoba.

      Sadly, Dr. Demitre Serletis, an incredibly talented person and a wonderful human being, has since left Manitoba as a result of the Conservative government's failing to fulfill promises made to him when he came here. Dr. Serletis's loss was tragic and devastating for Manitoba and for the children who were hoping to have their surgery done here for their epilepsy.

      I raise these issues today in advance of Purple Day, the inter­national awareness day for epilepsy, because it is im­por­tant that we all know what has hap­pened and that there is a better way forward.

      Thank you.

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