Laura’s pain under microscope
WHEN she was eight, Laura Baseggio sprained her right ankle.
It should have healed quickly but the 15-year-old is now enduring her seventh year of frustration and pain.
But instead of feeling sorry for herself, Laura has raised money to help research into her condition.
This week the Victorian schoolgirl flew to Sydney to present a $1000 cheque to Royal North Shore Hospital’s Pain Management Research Institute head Michael Cousins.
The year 9 pupil was inspired by an episode of ABC TV’s Catalyst, which dealt with her condition - complex regional pain syndrome - and research being carried out by Professor Cousins’ team. “I’ve just had an amazing tour of the laboratory here,” Laura said.
“And it’s absolutely fascinating and fantastic that people are putting so much time and effort into helping people like me. It’s really inspiring.”
Laura badly needs the institute’s help.
She said her ankle was painful “all the time” and she could not run or play sport.
For most of this year she couldn’t even walk and was forced to use crutches to get around.
Even worse, the condition seems to be spreading to involve both her legs.
Prof Cousins said the Pain Management Research Institute treated people with chronic pain or cancer pain and runs far-reaching educational and research programs.
“One in five people in Australia suffers from chronic pain, but less than 10 per cent of them gain access to effective treatment,” he said.
“Those are shocking statistics, but the good news is that we have strategies - including spinal cord stimulation, new drugs and physical and psychological therapies - to reverse the condition.”
For further information see www .pmri.med.usyd.edu.au
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