Gogglebox's Steph and Dom reveal son's health struggles
Published 05/12/2015 | 21:26
Gogglebox couple Steph and Dom Parker have opened up for the first time about the struggles suffered by their disabled teenage son.
The fun-loving pair, regarded as one of the favourites on the hit reality Channel 4 show, said their 15-year-old son Max has had epilepsy since he was a baby.
They revealed that Max - who has also been diagnosed with autism - suffers epileptic seizures every day, and in a bad month he can have more than 150.
In an interview with The Times Magazine, Steph said they first noticed something was wrong when Max started making "jerky" movements at four months old.
"We took a video of him and showed it to the GP, who immediately referred us to the paediatric consultant at the local hospital, who immediately said, 'I think we have a problem and I need you to come in first thing Monday morning. Bring a bag," she said.
Following the diagnosis, Steph, who runs a B&B in Kent with her husband, added: "He was immediately put on a load of steroids and we spent weeks in the hospital with him.
"Every night and every day for six weeks and, as you can imagine, it was utterly terrifying. He stabilised and was allowed home, but we had to inject him every day for something like four months. It was absolutely brutal."
Max, who lives term-time at a specialist residential epilepsy school, has been on various drugs but none have managed to control the seizures.
Despite the hardship, Steph said the condition has made her "see things in a different way". She went on: "Memories can be cherished like the most treasured prizes on this earth.
"And it's locked us down as a couple. We made a decision that it's going to test us, but it's never going to break us."