A martial arts champion has revealed his long-standing battle with epilepsy and how he suffers up to 250 seizures a day – half a million in his lifetime.
James Bailey, from Kelvedon, began to suffer from seizures after falling and hitting his head on a sidewalk outside his parents’ house when he was two years old.
The gold medalist at the European Championships was diagnosed with “uncontrollable epilepsy” and was told that he would have to wear a protective helmet every day and that he would lose the use of the right side of his. body.
But James, 27, refused to be defined by his condition and, after leaving school, began martial arts and boxing – despite being told another blow to the head could be disastrous.
James competed for Great Britain in the kuk sool won, a mix of Korean fighting styles used by Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris.
He was widely regarded as one of the best in the UK and won gold, silver and bronze medals in three disciplines at the 2014 championships.
Now James has spoken for the first time about how a severe form of epilepsy caused by brain injury caused him to adjust at least once every five minutes.
While most only last a few minutes, some last up to 45 minutes.
James Bailey in hospital in 2018. See SWNS story SWBRjudo; A martial arts champion who won gold at the European Championships has revealed his long-standing battle with epilepsy – and how he suffers up to 250 seizures a DAY. James Bailey of Essex, started
In total, James estimates that he suffered over half a million seizures in his lifetime.
But thanks to a recent adjustment to his medication, he has had no more seizures in the past seven months.
“Epilepsy has without a doubt been the hardest fight of my life,” he said.
“A lot of people with epilepsy have three seizures a week – I absolutely get it out of the water.
“In terms of foreclosures, I’m like a Ferrari. I quickly go from 0 to 100, and as soon as the doctors have taken my medicine, I stop just as quickly.
“If you take into account that I have an average of at least 150 seizures a day when I am unchecked and spent about eight and a half years in total without control, then I must have had 465,000 seizures at this day, and that’s prudent. ”
James’ battle began when he fell and hit his head when he was two. He sustained damage to his left temporal lobe and began to have violent seizures every few minutes.
The seizures were so frequent that he had to sleep in his parents’ bed and was only allowed to bathe in three inches of water to keep him from drowning.
As a schoolboy, he was called a “monster” and bullied about his uncontrolled spasms.
His schoolwork and grades suffered because of his time in the hospital and the strong medications he was prescribed.
But despite the setbacks, and against the advice of neurologists, James took to judo, boxing and kuk sool won, excelling in all three.
By the age of 20, James had reached black belt level and was teaching.
His condition means that his medication needs to be adjusted regularly to control his seizures.
If the medication is working properly, James can go months without a major seizure.
He currently runs two successful businesses – a landscaping gardening business and a personal security business protecting affluent clients.
He has also developed his own system of street self-defense, incorporating elements of kuk sool won, judo, jiu-jitsu, boxing, and krav maga, which he teaches exclusively to multi-millionaire businessmen.
James Bailey enters high school. See the SWNS story SWBRjudo; A martial arts champion who won gold at the European Championships has revealed his long-standing battle with epilepsy – and how he suffers up to 250 seizures a DAY. James Bailey of Essex, started
James has written a book about his life called Light In The Shadows: A Life of Epilepsy, which is out this week.
He also launched a GoFundMe page to fund a one-on-one mentoring service for people with epilepsy and other conditions, as well as those who have been bullied.
He said: “I know it may be hard for some people to understand, but for me my condition is not a curse – it is a blessing.
“It gave me all this experience that I can now use to help others.
“I may not be able to change the world, but I can change the world for someone else.”