Jack Leigh, a fourteen-year-old boy from Bacup, was diagnosed with CRPS following an injury while dancing. Now, he has shared his story in the hopes that he can raise awareness of the poorly understood condition that, unfortunately, affects so many.
As a condition, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is notorious for causing a wide range of extremely painful symptoms, such as joint stiffness, muscle spasms, burning pain, and much more. The cause of CRPS is unknown, however, it’s generally thought to be as a result of the body reacting to an injury. Jack Leigh was diagnosed with CRPS after he injured his ankle while dancing and has decided now to share his story in preparation for CRPS Awareness Month, which takes place in November every year, to help raise awareness and educate those who have a poor understanding of the rare condition that is estimated to affect 1 in 3,800 people in the UK each year. To find out more about Jack’s story, continue reading.
Before developing CRPS, Jack had a keen interest in street dancing and was one half of a duo that was once rated the fourth best in the world. His love for dancing was then shattered after he was forced to give up dancing following an awkward backflip landing that resulted in an injury and severe pain.
Although Vicky Leigh, Jack’s mother, initially thought that his injury would be fairly simple to recover from, it soon became apparent that something was seriously wrong; Jack was experiencing inexplicable pain and, as a result, was regularly visiting his doctor. During his visit, Jack’s doctor referred him to Royal Blackburn Hospital, however, there was a six-month waiting time, meaning that Jack would have no other option but to wait to receive answers for his unexplainable pain.
One day, Vicky received a call from a member of staff at Jack’s school, who explained that Jack was in agony with pain and that Vicky needed to come and collect him. That day, Vicky took Jack to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, along with Jack’s brother who was already visiting the hospital for a check-up. It was here at this hospital that Jack was diagnosed with CRPS after so much pain and time; he was examined by an orthopaedic consultant who was extremely concerned with his condition and diagnosed him that day.
In the leadup to his diagnosis, Jack revealed that many medics told him that he was ‘making it up’ and that his symptoms were all a figure of his imagination, despite him knowing that the pain he felt was real. As experienced CRPS lawyers, we understand all too well how sufferers feel when they are faced with disbelief which, unfortunately, is a regular occurrence as so many misunderstand the condition.
Usually, CRPS is restricted to one of the body’s limbs, however, in Jack’s case, symptoms that were initially restricted to his left foot soon spread to every limb after the first few months. As a result, he had no other option but to use a wheelchair to travel around and always needed somebody else to push him.
Intensive physiotherapy and hydrotherapy sessions have allowed Jack to slowly regain use of his limbs, however, he can only walk small distances and still can’t bear being touched. Sensitivity to touch is a well-known symptom of CRPS that many sufferers tend to experience. When touched, Jack feels an electric shock as well as a stabbing pain and burning sensation. His everyday life has been severely affected by the condition; at school, he must use a laptop to complete his school work as he finds it extremely uncomfortable to hold a pen or pencil for any length of time. Even sitting on the sofa causes problems for the teenage boy and his feet feel permanently crushed by his shoes when walking.
Jack has bravely decided to share his story in preparation for CRPS Awareness Month, which will be taking place next month in November, in the hopes that he can raise awareness of the condition and show people how much of an impact it can have on the everyday life of so many.
If you have developed complex regional pain syndrome as a result of an accident or injury that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to compensation. As CRPS solicitors, we have vast experience in handling claims for a wide range of patients. With us, you will feel safe in the knowledge that your case is handled with the utmost care and attention. To discuss your claim in further detail, call us for free on 0808 123 0003 or click here to fill in our online contact form.