Social Accomplishment Award 2013

Jane Hanna

When Jane Hanna was bereaved in 1990, through her then partner's unexplained death from epilepsy, she had the vision to use her experience to highlight the largely unrecognised issue of epilepsy mortality. At the time she had a prestigious academic career as a lecturer at Oxford University. This was eventually sacrificed to dedicate her future to a unique problem: that SUDEP and other epilepsy deaths were not recognised or understood and, therefore, people with epilepsy were at risk of dying unnecessarily. She pioneered advocacy on SUDEP and co-founded Epilepsy Bereaved, established to support families, infl uence clinicians and politicians, and promote research on the causes of epilepsy-related deaths.

Twenty-two years of conviction, enthusiasm, and refusal to be deflected resulted in a seismic shift in thinking and practice on SUDEP and epilepsy mortality internationally. Her personal contribution to the field was marked in the UK by Queen Elizabeth II awarding Jane an OBE for distinguished services to families in 2010.