Val Aldridge

ValMy experience in nursing began in 1980 through roles in dental and auxiliary nursing.I qualified as an enrolled nurse in 1984, then as a registered nurse in 1990, quickly specialising in coronary care.

I have 2 children Robyn and Greg, there is only 15 months between them, I thought I would be getting them into school and back to work, that’s when epilepsy decided to take my family down a different path!

Greg’s seizures started when he was 4 that is also when his behaviour changed. After 4 years of absolute hell I met Emma and learnt about the diet. I also met Professor Cross on a surgical referral, when surgery was not an option we ended up starting Greg on MCT Ketogenic diet as part of the GOSH trial.

It wasn’t long after that Emma rang and asked if I would like to be involved with a charity she was thinking of starting up. The ketogenic diet was not just a treatment for Greg but for the whole family. Despite never becoming seizure free he was so much brighter, and when he laughed I realised I had not heard him laugh for a very long time. I dread to think how life would have been had we not had the chance of a dietary treatment.

That is why I have continued to work with Matthews Friends as assistant co-ordinator and my husband Richard and I became trustees of Matthews Friends the charity, to make these dietary treatments available to any child or adult wishing to try them. Over the last 7 years I have gained much experience in implementing the dietary treatments both personally with Greg and through supporting our families. I have also gained a vocational certificate in epilepsy care via distance learning  to gain a broader knowledge of epilepsy.

I will be assisting the dietitians and neurologists in clinics, taking bloods and educating and supporting the families.