Dundee girl Caitlyn, 15, ready for life-changing op to end her daily seizures

Post Thumbnail

Like any teenager, Caitlyn Geekie would love to learn to drive and go to university.

But for the 15-year-old, those are unattainable goals without life-changing surgery.

The teenager, from Claverhouse, suffers from tuberous sclerosis — a rare genetic disorder which causes her to have a seizure almost every day.

Caitlyn, who was diagnosed with the condition at the age of just two, is often left exhausted.

But now the Grove Academy pupil is preparing for potentially life-changing surgery which could bring an end to her daily seizures.

Caitlyn Geekie

Caitlyn told the Tele that until recently, she kept her condition hidden because she was worried she might lose friends.

She added: “It’s been quite difficult and frustrating for me.

“It’s annoying that I have seizures nearly every day and I can’t really control them.

“I’ve had a lot of support from my friends.

“It was really only my close friends who have known all this time.

“I only started telling other people recently.

“I started to tell people about the surgery because I just have to accept it.

“I hope the operation will be able to change things for me.”

Although her illness has affected her daily life, Caitlyn has found solace through dance classes — despite regularly suffering seizures during lessons.

Caitlyn with her mum Tanya

Mum Tanya, 44, said her daughter’s condition was discovered after she was taken to the doctor with eczema-like symptoms.

She paid tribute to her bravery and said Caitlyn’s battle had been difficult for her whole family.

Tanya added: “The doctors noticed a white patch on her side and that, along with seizures, is a sign of the condition.

“Sure enough, two weeks later her eyes started to twitch and we realised that she was having a seizure.

“As she’s grown up we’ve used all the options for medicine and now she has to have this surgery.

“It’s definitely going to be life-changing because it essentially means she’ll be seizure-free, so after that she can think about driving, dating and university.

“Basically it’s a chance to have a normal life.”

Caitlyn on a school trip to Belgium
Caitlyn with friend Eva Leighton at Dance Sensations

Tanya said the care the family had received at Ninewells had “been absolutely fantastic”, adding: “Now we’re going to the Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh, which will hopefully help Caitlyn.

“It was only recently that she told a lot of her friends. Even some of our neighbours didn’t know.

“She’s been so incredibly brave and I’m just so proud of her for carrying on despite everything she’s been through.”

Tanya and Caitlyn will be attending Ed Sheeran’s gig at Hampden Park in June and Tanya is hoping to arrange for her daughter to meet her hero.

She added: “As a mother, I just want to give her something positive to look forward to and if we could get someone like him to say ‘hi’ for even five minutes, that would be amazing.”