A WOMAN who has lived most of her life as a "prisoner to epilepsy" has hailed a pioneering new centre devoted to studying the condition.

Kelsey Durham, 20, from Larkhall, Lanarkshire, has been ill since she was a toddler, but it wasn't until four years ago that experts from the charity Quarriers diagnosed the complex nature of the epilepsy she faced.

And with their help she was finally put on the right course of medication.

Kelsey hopes a new £6.4mill-ion world class epilepsy centre set up by the charity in Govan will help hundreds more people like her.

She said: "Quarriers has transformed my life – and I feel absolutely honoured to mark the opening of the new William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre alongside the Deputy First Minister of Scotland.

"When I first came to Quarriers four years ago I couldn't take part in any of the usual activities teenagers do with their friends.

"I wasn't allowed to go swimming in case I had a seizure and drowned.

"It was such a relief when I was given a clear diagnosis of my epilepsy at Quarriers. My condition is now managed by medication and I have got my life back.

"None of this would have been possible without Quarriers. Now, hundreds more people like me will have their lives transformed."

Kelsey hopes to pursue a career helping other people with epilepsy and to be a support worker at the centre which she opened with Nicola Sturgeon.

Ms Sturgeon said: "The William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre is the first of its kind to offer an enhanced service which will significantly improve the quality of life for those living with the condition.

"The centre is a great example of the third sector and NHS Scotland working together to build and deliver world class services."

The William Quarrier Scottish Epilepsy Centre has taken a year to build and is the only one of its kind in Scotland, offering assessment for people with complex epilepsy and diagnosis where the condition is uncertain.

Around 100 patients will be admitted each year.

The 12-bed centre was built in Govan to be close to the world-renowned Institute of Neurological Sciences at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital.

Quarriers chief executive Paul Moore said: "The vision of the charity's founder, William Quarrier, is very much embodied in this new state-of-the-art centre which will truly transform lives."