Port Vale star Leon Legge reveals his battle with epilepsy

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Port Vale player Leon Legge has opened up about his battle with epilepsy.

The defender told how one day he suddenly found himself waking up in hospital after suffering an epileptic seizure in his sleep.

It was a situation Legge has had to deal with all his adult life since being diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 16.

And now, having recovered, he wants to educate people about the often misunderstood condition.

“I’ve gone to sleep and woke up in Liverpool Royal Hospital… It was a bit of a panic for my wife and some of the family members but I’m all better now.

“It’s a bit of a shock to go to sleep and wake up somewhere completely different… I knew exactly what had happened.”

For Legge, it isn’t simply a matter of raising awareness.

It’s encouraging and providing support for others who may be having trouble with their own epilepsy, something he didn’t have when he was first diagnosed.

“At the time I didn’t really know too much about epilepsy… I just sort of got on with it.

“I was quite hesitant to tell people that I actually had it… when you are growing up and meeting new people, it was always something that I didn’t really want to share until I got to know someone well.

“I didn’t know of anyone that had my condition, so I felt like I was facing it alone.”

The Vale defender now works closely with the charity Young Epilepsy, helping families and children in dealing with their own conditions.

“The role I play with the Young Epilepsy charity, I’m more vocal about it now and able to talk to people about it.

“I regularly have conversations with parents and coaches that deal with either their sons or daughters who have epilepsy and want to know how I have dealt with it.

“I want to be there. Not just to be an inspiration, but to give pointers and help other people.

“It’s my aim to make people more aware of the condition so they know what to do in that situation.

“More and more people are coming out and are contacting me and having conversations about it.

“It’s becoming more of a normal topic to talk about now.”

Having missed Port Vale’s last three games, Legge admits he is now ready and raring to get playing again.

“I missed it a little. Like I say, I’m glad to be back now and hopefully we can keep our run going.”

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