A LOVING single mum from Newton Abbot has embarked on a one-woman mission to raise awareness about her son's rare illness.
Fiona Breslan, 31, of Osborne Street, held a colour-themed day to highlight the severe epileptic disorder her youngest son suffers from.
Three-year-old Paddy has Dravet's Syndrome and almost died at Christmas from a prolonged seizure.
She said: "Knowing I could have lost him spurred me into making a difference in my own way."
Paddy suffered his first seizure when he was 16 weeks old. Aged 18 months he was diagnosed with Dravet's Syndrome, a progressive childhood neuro-developmental disorder which leads to seizures.
A severe form of epilepsy, it affects one child born out of 40,000.
He also suffers from behavioural problems and learning and development delays which have resulted in poor co-ordination.
Fiona, mum to Rhys, six, and Paddy, decided to tackle the subject head-on after dealing with 'insensitive' comments.
She said: "People can sometimes make insensitive remarks or treat Paddy differently from others. I wanted to raise awareness. He is an absolute pleasure to be around. He can be very manic but he is a joy and everyone who meets him falls in love with him.
"Because he is prone to seizures he has to wear a protective helmet. When they come on, he just collapses quickly and he needs to wear it to stop himself from seriously hurting himself," she said.
"Quite often he can get overexcited which can trigger a seizure. It can be a struggle and it's a stressful condition to have to deal with. He may have a few weeks seizure-free but it can happen at any time."
At Christmas he fell ill with flu which exacerbated the syndrome and he was rushed to hospital suffering a prolonged fit.
It was the second time Paddy spent Christmas Day in hospital, having spent the occasion there in 2006.
But he pulled through and Fiona decided to put on a 'purple day' at Magpie's pre-school, where Paddy attends, and a pub raffle in the Jolly Abbot, East Street.
Paddy's friends put on their best purple clothes to bake colour-coordinated cakes and play games.
All Saint's (Marsh) Primary School, where Rhys attends, also got involved with the event by proudly wearing purple-coloured attire.
Fiona said: "The pub quiz and a raffle in the Jolly Abbot raised £564. The amount of people who came along was unbelievable.
"It was great. I hope to do something else in the future, because both the events were great and people responded really well."