• In Memory of Annie Kent 1887-1910. Epileptic. Sent to Asylum aged 13.
    In May 1900, 13 year old Annie Kent was admitted to the Wells Asylum from Bath Workhouse. Annie had been prone to epileptic seizures from birth but these were now occurring with increased regularity “between 8 or 10 nightly”. At that time the only known treatment was bromide, and dosed with this, the number of seizures decreased for a while. Though usually “quiet and well behaved”, the teenager could become “irritable and quarrelsome”. Annie was able to help in tidying the ward and became “mildly religious”. It seems that the bromide began to lose its effects the following year, with Annie once again subject to regular seizures , often becoming violent “before and after fitting”. Between 1907 and 1909 Annie’s powers of concentration decreased; she would wander aimlessly about and had difficulty in responding to questions. By October 1910, she suffered up to 14 seizures a month, and it was noted that “Epileptic dementia is well marked, she stands vacantly when addressed and cannot reply for some moments, and then only in the simplest way”. Annie’s general health gradually became worse and she died at 1.00am on the 11th December, aged only 23 years. Cause of death was recorded as “Epileptic Decay”. Annie was buried at Mendip Hospital Cemetery on the 16th December 1910, where she lies in now unmarked grave 22, Section F.
    Image © South West Heritage Trust  http://www.mendiphospitalcemetery.org.uk/ #historyofmedicine #epilepsy
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