An act of senseless violence led to Phil developing epilepsy. Then, he decided to devote his life to researching the condition. 

By Matt Ng | Epilepsy Today

Phil Haydon remembers the day that changed his life forever. For many, it was a sunny day in 1972, in the south of England. For Phil, who was 15 at the time, it was the last day of school before the holidays, and the exciting start of weeks of freedom.

He and a friend were cycling home, when he suddenly felt a heavy thud on the left side of his forehead. 

“I didn’t realise at the time,” says Phil. “A drunken teenager with a grudge had thrown a house brick at my friend, but his poor aim meant I was the victim. The blow caused me to veer across the road. Blood streamed down my face, so much that I couldn’t see out of my left eye.”

As the pair weren’t far from school, they decided to backtrack there, rather than go home. Phil thought he’d just suffered a bad cut. But on arrival, the school secretary’s face told a different story. “Her face turned white and she almost fainted at the sight of me.

Before Phil knew it, he was rushed to hospital in an ambulance where his parents were waiting. Yet the local infirmary didn’t have the facilities needed, so he diverted to Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford and underwent emergency surgery. 

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