THE final post on Jordyn Hare’s Facebook page is a grim reminder of how random life can be.
“Kickin’ back in the cool spa with a cold one, listening to Pandora radio . . . don’t think this day could get much better.”
Moments later he drowned after suffering an epileptic seizure.
Had it been a 20-second seizure, the 18-year-old from Werribee would have realised he was drowning.
But during Jordyn’s more serious seizures – categorised as ‘tonic-clonic seizures’ – he could black out for up to five minutes.
His mother, Karin Wylie, says there was rarely any warning. Jordyn would freeze and turn stiff, as if someone had hit a pause button, then collapse.
On February 7, alone in a spa, Jordyn slumped under the water and died.
“He wasn’t aware of the seizures himself,” she says. “He might realise he’s bumped his head on the way down, but then he’d wake up and think he was fine. He wouldn’t tell anyone and sometimes we’d find out weeks later he had one.”
An epileptic seizure occurs when large groups of neurons in the brain begin firing uncontrollably, disrupting the balance of electrical activity and can cause a loss of consciousness.
Jordyn’s stepdad, Neil Playford, knows more than most how dangerous seizures can be. His daughter, 1, also died when her heart stopped during a episode.
“Two people are now gone in my life due to it,” he says.
“This is the part we need to bring awareness to – people who are suffering it don’t know that they could drive along, ride a horse or a bike or control machinery and accidentally kill someone or themselves.”
Yesterday, his relatives wore purple ribbons to help publicise the 181,000 Australians with epilepsy.
It’s one of the most common neurological disorders in the world, yet few people understand how to recognise someone having a seizure, according to Epilepsy Australia.
Mr Playford says Jordyn (pictured) will be remembered as “one out of the box, that’s for sure”.
“He was an adult trapped in a teenager’s body. Most 18-year-olds you can’t get out of bed and get to work, but this one, you couldn’t get him to bed.
“Jordyn was starting his own audio-visual business and was heavily involved in the Weerama Festival, being one of the directors last year as a teenager.”
A minute’s silence was held at Saturday’s Weerama Festival in memory of Jordyn.
“He once said to me, ‘One day, Neil, I’m going to have thousands of people turn up to my festival’.
“If he put his mind to something and said he was going to do it, he’d do it.
“He would’ve been one of the greatest entertainment people in the industry in years to come.
“He was just loved by so many people.”