After suffering from excruciating back pain for nearly a year, Lizzy Toms underwent surgery in March 2016 after consultants diagnosed a benign tumour on her spine. The surgery was successful in that the large growth was removed, but Lizzy was left partially paralysed having suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury at T4 during the operation.
Lizzy was aged just 34 when this happened, happily married with three children. After several months’ rehab at North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre in Southport Hospital Lizzy returned home. She was able to get about using her crutches however, but the spinal cord injury had left her with severe neuropathic pain. When this becomes too much Lizzy must use her wheelchair, which can make doing simple things like shopping and doing the washing seemingly impossible.
Moreover, Lizzy is intolerant to neuropathic pain killing medicines, which leaves her in near-constant pain, often unable to dress, manage rehab exercises, or sleep. Having a spinal cord injury, and the resulting neuropathic pain, has also caused Lizzy mental health issues. She is often forgetful and confused, ‘brain-fog’ as she calls it.