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NEW UPDATE 9/12/14: Firstly, thank you to everyone who has helped to share this campaign, donate, and fundraise! Your help means the world to me and it's a kindness that will never be forgotten. The latest update is I've now been informed that a 3rd surgery will be required after my case went before a Complex Spinal Meeting. Basically, the 2nd surgery is a microdysectomy from the left side but they will need to come in from the right side as well to remove the remaining disc material that's inaccessible from the left side's surgery. I realise my initial goal on here was asking a great deal, and to add to the total for the 3rd surgery is too farfetched, especially with Christmas approaching people can't spare the money. But anything can happen, but please if you cannot donate yourself then please just share this with anyone you can. It takes a few seconds for you to do but it means the world to me and my family. Thank you and a merry Christmas to you all.
I'm appealing for donations, however big or small, for 2 spinal surgeries which could take place in time for Christmas if we can raise the money.
I can't tell you how much this means to me & my family and I really hope you read the story below and consider donating. If you can't donate, then please just share/retweet/forward it on in some way so we can reach as many people as possible.
I've been suffering with severe pain since late 2007, and the worst has been during the past 4 years where I've been mostly bed bound. Not only is it constant pain but it's affected my ability to move about and even walk. If left for too long this can turn into a permanent problem and possibly losing the use of my legs for good. On the NHS, I will be waiting for over 2 years to get both surgeries completed, but privately I can do it within a month. This greatly improves the chances that surgery will have the best possible outcome and obviously lessens the likelihood of me needing a wheelchair for life.
So with your help I have the chance of getting both surgeries done by Christmas this year and hopefully be back on my feet within the next year.
I appreciate it's a long story but anyone considering donating has the right to hear it all and hear why their money would be so beneficial.
I'm a 26 year old woman who has had severe health problems since late 2007.
It all started with back pain that came out of nowhere, and since 2007 it has deteriorated dramatically to the point where I've been bed bound for the past 4 years.
To give you a better example of how limited my movement is, I only left the house on 8 occasions in 2013 for hospital appointments. My partner has to help me with my daily care needs because doing anything aggravates the pain to such a severe level. Even a short drive in the car will have me in even more pain for several weeks just from the one trip in the car. Whenever I do have the ability to go out I have to now be in a wheelchair and only be out for a very short period of time. My partner also has to accompany me everywhere as a result to help with the chair, getting me in and out of the car and moving along, etc.
Even the simplest of things we all take for granted, like walking up/down stairs, having a shower, walking around the house, all require me to rest up to do them and a long period of being laid up afterwards because of the level of pain any of these activities cause.
Laying down is the only position where I manage to gain any real relief, but even with that and 50 assorted tablets a day and morphine it isn't enough to rid me of my pain.
During these past 7 years I've been bounced from Dr to Dr, MRIs and x-rays, blood tests. But all of them failed to find a cause.
In all honesty, the experience has shaken me to the core. When the problems started and for the first few years of the problem I had people close to me questioning my health, and with the Drs failing to find the reason it just fuelled their disbelief even further.
Since this all began I've developed autoimmune conditions that have been blamed on the back problem. Whilst there are no 100% answers over what causes various autoimmune diseases, a common possible cause is a traumatic event in the person's life be it physical or emotional. So my body being in so much distress for this long and dealing with the emotional and mental side of it all is currently thought to be the cause. Unfortunately there's no cure for fibromyalgia and ME but there is hope that these specific conditions will be more manageable once my back is fixed and there's less stress on my body.
So as a result I had to give up my old life of football, my university diploma to become a therapist, work and everything else a typical woman in her 20s would be getting up to.
The fact I was getting nowhere with my healthcare led me to question my own mentality and whether the pain could all be in my head. It has been an extremely lonely, crushing, and depressing experience that no one should ever have to go through when they have such severe pain. I don't think I can convey just how awful it's been over the past 4 years especially with being bed bound, but I hope you get a sense of the total helplessness and grief I have had to deal with.
That all changed in September 2014. Thanks to my Mum we got the money together to pay for a private appointment to see a neurosurgeon in Plymouth. Best £300 I've ever spent.
I was wheeled into his office and he had already been examining my recent and past MRI images and had finally, FINALLY, found the cause of my pain.
I've had a slipped disc for 7 years, which is so far out of place it is pressing on my spinal root nerve. The neurosurgeon explained that he's not seen anyone with my situation where the nerve is being so badly compressed that it has spread so thinly it is no longer visible on slides of the MRI images.
This is why I get such severe pain, and why it affects my ability to walk so severely that I've needed a wheelchair for the past few years.
The saddest part of this story is my disc now shows as black on the MRI images. It has lost a lot of fluid and is now in a degenerative state and it's a certainty I will suffer with this throughout my life. This problem could've been fixed several years ago, I could've had the past 4-5yrs back. These failings from Drs at the hospitals and GP surgery shouldn't happen and I am in talks with them to make sure this never happens to anyone else in need of their help.
This campaign is to help pay for the two surgical procedures needed (and both of the pre-surgery appointments) to remove part of my disc and hopefully relieve the pain and mobility problems.
On the NHS, it will take almost another year just for the first pre-surgery appointment and surgery to be done, and then another year for the second pre-surgery and surgery to be done. I was told I'd be very lucky to have both surgeries done within the next 2 years.
The biggest problem with needing it done ASAP is the longer that disc is in the position it is, it will only deteriorate further and mean more problems and pain in my future. It also risks the nerve becoming permanently damaged and can even become so worn it becomes severed. Despite these serious risks, it would still be very unlikely these operations would be completed within the next 2 years.
I want my life back, I want to play football again and be able to walk without needing a wheelchair after only 10 metres, I no longer want to be a financial burden on my parents who have kept a roof over my head whilst I've been unable to work, and I want to go back to university and finish my diploma course to become a therapist so that I can continue on my path to helping others. I'd like to have my independence back and not have to rely on my partner for the daily care needs. I'd like to do all those simple things we take for granted without being in severe pain.
But the more time that passes the less likely it is that I will be able to do these things. I'd love to make the most of the years I have before my now degenerative disc begins to restrict my movements again.
We've looked into a medical loan but there is so much uncertainty about the degree in which this surgery will work, and if I am unable to return to work we'd be left with a large debt hanging over our heads and no affordable way of paying it back.
So, if with the help of this campaign I can pay for both, or even just one of the operations to be done privately then it won't take anywhere near as long to get fixed and hopefully get my life back on track.
Even if I don't manage to raise the full amount, any donation would be a positive step and truly, truly appreciated.
So I'm asking that if anyone out there can help in any way, even £10 is a big help, please consider helping with the surgery costs.
I know money is tight and not always something people can spare, so even if you yourself can't help financially then please share this campaign so it reaches as many people as possible. Sharing this campaign means the world to me and I truly thank every single one of you for your help from the bottom of my heart.
If by your amazing generosity and kindness we happen to exceed the amount required for the two surgeries and 2 pre surgery assessment appointments then the rest will be put towards any other post surgery health costs if needed, and if no further medical help is required then any remaining money will be given to charity and other medical campaigns asking for help.
Of course there will be updates along the way if people want to follow progress and how your kind donations have helped.
If you made it to the bottom of this page I just want to say "thank you!" for reading my story and considering donating to my campaign.