• MySTV

Teenager who died of epilepsy was told it would be ‘a minor nuisance’

A fatal accident inquiry has heard that a doctor told 19-year-old Eris Casey not to worry when she was diagnosed with the disorder.

Erin Casey: Died just six weeks into her first term at university.

A teenage student was told her epilepsy would be “a minor nuisance” just months before she died, an inquiry has heard.

Erin Casey died in October 2006 when she was found dead in her bed in her halls of residence. The 19-year-old was only six weeks into her first term at St Andrews University where she was studying languages.

A fatal accident inquiry into her death is being heard in tandem with a probe into the epilepsy death of 15-year-old Forfar Academy pupil Christina Ilia at Dundee Sheriff Court.

The pair died as a result of SUDEP - sudden unexpected death in people with epilepsy.

Erin's sister, Shauna Casey, 21, told the inquiry that she had witnessed Erin having an epileptic fit in the bedroom they shared at their home in Lundin Links, Fife, in March 2006. Following a visit to her GP and a referral to a neurologist at Kirkcaldy's Victoria Hospital, Erin was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Shauna told the court: "She was a bit shocked about it. She said she didn't know anything about it or what it was like.

"She had medication to take and said everything was going to be fine.

"She said it would just be a minor nuisance in her life - she said that's what Dr Martin Zeidler, the consultant neurologist - had said to her."

Erin's father, Graeme Casey, a brewery service engineer, told the court that he had never heard of the condition SUDEP until he found it listed on her death certificate.

He added: "I had searched the internet a lot after she died for information.

"I had never heard of SUDEP until I saw it on her death certificate - then I was able to find information about it online."


Earlier, Erin's mother Janet Casey, 50, was asked if she blamed anyone for Erin's death.

She told the inquiry: "I wouldn't blame anyone - but I think things could have been different.

"I believe Erin didn't die because of mistakes. I know there were no mistakes made. There were deliberate decisions that were made."

Mrs Casey said Erin when she died, had told her of episodes where she "had a wee dream" at school "like deja vu" - but thought it was something to do with hormones.

Mrs Casey took Erin to her GP, who referred her to a neurologist. She was then seen by Dr Zeidler at Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

Mrs Casey added: "Putting together what happened during the night with the daydream episodes he said this was textbook epilepsy."

She asked what would happen if Erin forgot to take her medication, to which the doctor said she could have another seizure.

But Mrs Casey said he mentioned nothing about SUDEP.

After Erin's funeral, she went to see Dr Zeidler.

She told the inquiry: "He said he was very sorry to hear Erin had died. I said 'Did you know Erin could die?' and he said yes.

"I said 'Did you withhold information about SUDEP' and he said yes."

The inquiry, before Sheriff Alistair Duff, continues.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.


We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.


Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.


Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.



Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.