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Happy 25th birthday to the Encephalitis Society!

On 30th June 2019, we joined the Encephalitis Society for a party at City Hall in London to mark 25 years since the launch of the charity.  Over 150 people were in attendance to celebrate the momentous Silver Jubilee.

The Encephalitis Society is a global charity that supports those affected by encephalitis and helps to raise awareness of the condition amongst the general public.  They also promote and collaborate on research on encephalitis and provide information to healthcare professionals in order to increase their understanding of the devastating illness.

Encephalitis is essentially an inflammation of the brain.  It is caused by either an infection of the brain or by the immune system attaching the brain in error.

The condition affects around 500,000 people around the world each year and around 6,000 people annually in the UK alone – yet studies suggest that 78% of people worldwide don’t know what it is.  Many other neurological conditions – including meningitis, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis – are not as prevalent in many parts of the world and yet they receive more recognition and funding.

Suzanne Trask, Kate O’Brien and Kim Alexander from Bolt Burdon Kemp attending The Encephalitis Society’s 25th anniversary celebrations

Suzanne Trask, Kate O’Brien and Kim Alexander from Bolt Burdon Kemp attending The Encephalitis Society’s 25th anniversary celebrations

We at Bolt Burdon Kemp support the Encephalitis Society in raising awareness of the condition itself, as well as the stellar work that the charity does.  We were delighted to have been invited to share in their 25th birthday celebrations.

There were talks on the night from Dr Ava Easton and Professor Tom Solomon, who spoke about the Encephalitis Society’s 25 year journey and the advances that have been made in encephalitis research over this time.

A very generous donation was also made by James Liptrott and his son, Toby, in order to fund research studies in Cameroon and Brazil.  James, who set up the LIVE Foundation in memory of his wife, Lisa, who had been affected by encephalitis, presented a cheque for £21,600 to fund the much-needed research.

A new film, Clair’s Story, was also premiered at the party.  This focuses on the story of a computer analyst who fell ill with encephalitis – and deals with the impact the illness has had on her and her family.  Her dad, Mark, tells the story of how she did not recognise him when she first woke up in hospital after falling ill.  Four years later, Clair continues to have short-term memory loss and she relies on a diary to help her to plan everything she must do throughout the week.

It is hoped the film will raise awareness of the terrible disease.

Kate O’Brien is a senior solicitor in the Adult Brain Injury team at Bolt Burdon Kemp.  If you or a loved one are concerned about the treatment you have received, contact Kate free of charge and in confidence on 020 7288 4814 or at kateo’brien@boltburdonkemp.co.uk.  Alternatively, complete this form and one of the solicitors in the Adult Brain Injury team will contact you.  Find out more about the Adult Brain Injury team.

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