A DETERMINED teacher bed-ridden with a condition nicknamed ‘suicide disease’ is inching closer to getting her life back, thanks to well-wishers who have helped fund her rehabilitation treatment.
Amy Pohl is ‘in a much happier place’ now she is six weeks into her recovery programme at STEPS rehabilitation in Sheffield – but at £5,000 a week, the treatment could stop too soon unless more funds are raised.
The Rugby Free Primary School teacher developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) – recognised to be more severe than childbirth or the amputation of a digit, causing some sufferers to take their own lives – in December 2017, as a result of a failed cannula insertion in her left hand.
She lost the use of her left arm, and further complications caused her to lose the use of her legs.
But after five months stuck in hospital, she is now on the long road to recovery at STEPS, where she is slowly regaining movement.
Amy, 26, said: “Receiving the treatment I need has given me hope that I can get back to the old life I loved.
“It is hard work, but I have achieved more in the past six weeks than I had in the preceding six months.
“I am finally out of the bed, able to sit in an adapted wheelchair, have had showers, and stood in a specialised standing frame.
“I’ve also made massive improvements with my left arm. Before coming here it was constantly covered up in a sling, as the slightest breeze caused severe pain. Yet now it’s mostly uncovered. I have washed my arm every day, which hadn’t been done for about 18 months.
“I even went outside, which was massive for me as I hadn’t been able to go outside in a very long time.
“Psychologically I am in a much better place now I am not confined to a bed, isolated from the outside world.”
She says she is thankful to everyone who has visited her, sent cards and messages, or helped to fund-raise.
“All of these people give me the courage to continue fighting, even on the toughest days.
“I particularly love receiving cards and drawings from the children I have taught, and I really look forward to returning to the teaching job that I love.”
But she says if the funds were to run dry, she would face a life of 24-hour supervision in a care home or hospital.
“At 26 years old, I do not want to begin to contemplate a life like that,” she said. “There is still a long rehabilitation journey ahead of me.
“I am desperate – but also confident that I will get better.”
Amy’s family are continuing to raise funds.
Mum and dad Jo and David recently received £1,000 from the Rugby Rokeby Lions Club, raised during last December’s Santa Sleigh tour.
And a Comedy Night fund-raiser will take place at Amy’s former sixth form college Kenilworth School on Friday July 12. Visit www.helpamy.co.uk/store for tickets, or to buy a wristband to support Amy.
The event will also feature a raffle and auction, for which prizes are wanted. Prizes can be sent to Help Amy, PO Box 6654, Rugby CV21 9RD.
Visit www.helpamy.co.uk to donate.