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Lights, camera, action for Lockerbie family

By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
Lights, camera, action for Lockerbie family

THERE’LL be great excitement in one Lockerbie household tonight when Children in Needs airs.

For mum and daughter Lucie and Kara Dudgeon, of Bridge Street, have been filmed to be in a clip for the BBC fundraising telethon.

They were approached as users of the Chariots of Fire centre at Boreland, which has received funding from Children in Need.

It’s a lifeline for 18-year-old Kara who attends twice a week for carriage driving sessions, along with older brother Finlay.

She suffers from the very rare genetic condition SCN8A epilepsy and since being excluded from school in 2019, carriage driving is her only activity and one she loves.

Lucie said: “Chariots has been the only thing Kara has been able to access in the last five years.

“It’s a chance to get out and do something and it’s been a wonderful thing for us, it helps us so much.

“So, this was a lovely way to give back to Chariots for everything they have done for us over the years.”

The family were interviewed two weeks ago and have had confirmation their story will be used.

Finlay is delighted and has been telling everyone.

Of the experience, Lucie said: “It was really exciting and they were really considerate and made us feel very comfortable. They did not in any way want to disturb us or our routine.

“It was really lovely, a pleasure to have them and Kara coped absolutely fantastic.”

As well as capturing Kara and Finlay at the carriage driving, the cameras also followed them going about their daily business in Lockerbie, including stopping for treats at JustBe.

“It was a lovely way to show off Lockerbie too,” added Lucie.

Kara was diagnosed with epilepsy at nine months old, but it was not until 2018 that they were told the specific type, which only affects about 800 others worldwide.

She is mainly non-verbal, but can say single words and is still able to express herself.

Although she can walk, she uses a wheelchair due to the risk of frequent seizures, which can cause her to fall to the ground or put herself in danger.

These are generally subtle and short-lived, however Kara also gets severe tonic clonic seizures which can last up to 1.5 hours and affect her greatly.

In 2019, after six months of frequent tonic clonics, she was hospitalised and put in an induced coma to recover.

Lucie, who is on Lockerbie Community Council where she campaigns on disability issues, added: “We are very lucky. Many children with the condition are far worse off than Kara is and don’t survive as long as she has.

“The more they learn about the specific condition, the better they can treat it. I wouldn’t wish epilepsy of any kind on my worst enemy, it’s a very difficult condition to manage and live with.”

n Children in Need will air on BBC One from 7 pm on Friday night


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