Submitted by Linda McGlone
These days Paul Wade stashes his keys and mobile phone in a bum bag so he doesn’t forget where he left them. But he’ll always remember his first seizure. It was in Buenos Aires, 1993, and he was 32, the celebrated captain of Australia’s national soccer team.
He was just about to hit the field to mark Maradona in a World-Cup qualifying match when he collapsed in front of the Socceroos physio.
Paul hid his epilepsy for years as he moved on to work as a soccer commentator. But his secret was revealed in the most public way possible – he had a seizure while broadcasting a live interview in 2001. Eventually, Paul was offered the chance to undergo brain surgery to stop the seizures. The invasive treatment involved injecting a radioactive substance that travels to the brain to see which part was causing the seizures. Then a piece of Paul’s brain the size of two matchboxes was removed. The operation was a success and Paul walked out of the hospital after just seven days. He hasn’t had a seizure since although his short term memory was affected.
Paul who now works as a motivational speaker and sports commentator, credits Epilepsy Action Australia with providing invaluable support through his ordeal. He takes every opportunity to raise the profile of epilepsy and our organisation.