WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Late last month, Anne Cathryn Browning had a seizure.
Throughout the day, she didn’t feel well and although she was staying with a friend because her parents were out of town, she went home. Anne Cathryn broke one of the cardinal rules known among people living with epilepsy: don’t take a bath.
Browning had a seizure and died.
“When I think about what I was doing when I was 17 and I’m still alive,” said Putt Browning, Anne Cathryn’s dad. “She took a bath.”
Her parents said that although she had epilepsy, she didn’t let her disorder hold her back. Anne Cathryn was a lifeguard who rode her bike to work and occasionally went skiing – all things people living epilepsy are warned about.
“She wouldn’t have been happy if we didn’t let her do the things you want to do with your friends,” said Wendy Browning, Anne Cathryn’s mom.
“The most important thing in life is to be happy,” echoed her father. “I don’t really care what they do, just do your best and be happy and AC was happy. She was a happy kid.”
When asked about the past and future, there were mixed emotions.
“She was fun with a capital F, she was my love angel,” said her dad. “I don’t get to walk her down the aisle. The memories of have of playing with her…“
Her friends described her as caring, kindhearted and an overall genuine person. One that never shied away from befriending anybody.
The Brownings hope they can raise awareness about epilepsy. They say many people worry about living with the disorder and seem to struggle to live a meaningful life.
That’s why they now wear bracelets that say Matthew 6:27 “Which of you, by being anxious, can add one moment to his lifespan?”
“Who can add a minute to your life by worry? And she didn’t worry, she didn’t,” said her father. “She lived life, every minute, to the fullest. She didn’t really let the epilepsy stop her from doing anything and I’m glad I told her these things because I was always really proud of her.”
Along with her parents’ push for awareness, students around New Hanover County wore purple to their most recent football games, the color of epilepsy awareness.
The Browning’s have been and will continue to work closely with NYU FACES, which is an organization that is trying to find a cure for epilepsy.
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