Katie's Story

Chronic neurological pain is a condition that affects thousands of people across the UK. Two and a half years ago I was knocked off my bike by a 15-tonne lorry. I was convinced my life was over but I got up, alive and unhurt. After weeks of hospital appointments, they discovered I had two partially torn ligaments in my left knee, I had been on crutches and in a splint since the accident.

But then my left foot started to swell, turned purple and left me unable to put any weight at all through my leg. It took six weeks for them to diagnose me with CRPS; one of the most painful conditions in human existence, with no cure. Family and friends did not understand my pain, how sometimes I would snap for no reason or sometimes it was a challenge to even move from my bed, and it caused problems with my relationships with people, my education, and my mental health as well as my physical.

The pressure on my elbow from the crutches left me with a compressed nerve in my left arm and I was given a zimmer frame. This forced me to put some weight through my foot and forced me to push harder at physio to get rid of it. And that’s exactly what I did, I pushed until I was down to one crutch, I fought through constant agonising pain, and I refused to let this beat me. The swelling went down, the colour returned to normal and with a huge amount of willpower I put down my crutch. 

I taught myself to walk again and got my life as close back to normal as it could be. I’m now two and a half years down the line and although I still live in pain every single day, I am stronger than ever. I pursued my dream career of acting and got into a drama school in London, I still do everything a normal 18-year-old does and I am still fighting. The problem with this disability is its invisibility. One of the biggest things I had to deal with was people saying I was “attention seeking” or that “It was my fault”, because they couldn’t understand it. Luckily, I overcame this, but not everyone with this disability does. So, on the 9th June I am doing the Great North Swim, I am swimming a mile in open water in the hope that my story will be heard, and not only that, but to prove to everyone who lives with any chronic pain, that you are not alone, and to never give up because it is possible to beat this, with the right hope, the right support and the right people, you can do this. Just like I did.

All the donations will be given to a charity called Away With Pain, a support group in the UK that works towards supporting people with chronic neurological pain, finding a cure and providing people for sufferers to speak to when their will to carry on is giving out. If you can make any contribution to this cause, then please do. There is no cure, no understanding and no knowledge of this horrific condition, please help to make that happen. 

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/katie-damer

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