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US Olympian David Tarwater

Defying epilepsy in sport: Davis Tarwater

Davis Tarwater is an Olympic gold medalist swimmer, who was diagnosed with epilepsy at a young age.

Early life:

Davis had his first swimming lesson at age four. He was reluctant to put his face underwater at first, but after 15 minutes he was swimming freely. By age seven, he was entering swimming competitions.

Career highlights:

  • Won gold in the 800m freestyle relay at the 2012 Olympic Games in London
  • Qualified for the 2012 Olympic team by finishing seventh in the 200m freestyle
  • Broke the 200m butterfly American record at the 2011 Duel in the Pool
  • Placed third in the 100m and 200m butterfly and eighth in the 100m freestyle at the 2011 ConocoPhillips National Championships

Defying epilepsy:

Davis was diagnosed with epilepsy at a young age but didn’t let his condition become a barrier of achieving his dreams. When he was first diagnosed the family’s doctor encouraged Davis to keep swimming.

Speaking about his epilepsy, Davis’ mum said:

Davis’ doctor said that was the most important thing we could do for him. But when you put a child in the water with that sort of condition, you've got to put people around him to make sure he's OK.

Davis eventually outgrew his epilepsy in his adult years and is now living seizure free.

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Cyber EssentialsFundraising RegulatorYoung Epilepsy is the operating name of The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE).
Registered Charity number 311877 (England and Wales)

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