By Claire Ottaviano
A HILLS community has rallied to raise funds to help a local man with autism and epilepsy.
The residents of Mount Helena raised almost $1000 in three days to buy an epilepsy early warning monitor to significantly improve the life of 31-year-old Josh Eddy and his carers.
The GoFundMe page was launched by one of Josh’s carers and family friend Aaron Cuthbert.
Josh’s father Ray Eddy said the Cuthbert’s were long-time family friends and had experienced first-hand what it was like when Josh had a seizure.
“Aaron had spoken about the monitor before but it costs a bit of money and had to be shipped from the United States,” he said.
“So we went about our business as normal and then Josh had about three seizures in four weeks.
“Aaron went ahead and made the page and told us after he did it.”
Mr Eddy was overwhelmed by how quickly those who knew Josh, and many who did not, came to his aid.
“When Josh is with the Cuthbert’s he goes to our local deli and I saw the owners have chipped in,” he said.
“It’s really good to see the response.
“Aaron has also taken Josh to the local fire station so they’ve all been keen to chip in too, I think it’s great.”
Mr Cuthbert said Josh’s epilepsy and frequency of seizures had increased in recent years.
“His doctors are continually assessing and adjusting his medications but the stress of not knowing if and when these seizures may occur is building amongst parents, friends and carers,” he said
“Although Josh has parents or a carer reasonably close to him most times, one of the major concerns is him having a seizure whilst away (showering or walking around the house) and potentially falling from a standing position and hitting his head.”
The funds will help buy the Empatica Embrace2 Wrist monitor which will send an early warning to a care giver notifying them that Josh may be entering or having a seizure.