Monthly Archives: November 2009

Laura’s pain under microscope

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

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Corunna woman seeks help for painful condition

Angela White and her 10-year-old daughter Taylor hope that a treatment at a Florida clinic for Angela’s chronic pain will allow her to live a more normal life. Taylor says she can hardly remember hugging her mom because that kind of contact causes too much pain.

Corunna woman seeks help for painful condition


The Observer

Angela White is in pain.

She sits rigidly in the livingroom of her mom’s house in Corunna where they live with Angela’s 10-year-old daughter, Taylor.

Taylor is careful to sit close to her mom without touching her. The slightest contact can hurt.

White, 27, suffers from an uncommon condition called Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, or CRPS, which is believed to be a disorder of the central or peripheral nervous system that produces unrelenting pain and burning.

The condition has ruled her life since she was 13 years old. Apart from a two-year remission, White has been sidelined by the pain.

She’s tried a succession of drugs and therapies but none have worked. She can push through the pain long enough to get Taylor off to school in the morning, but spends most of her time in bed.

“Life is passing her by,” says her mother Jackie White. “It’s not what it should be for a young woman.”

But a solution is nearer.

Earlier this year, Angela White was introduced to a young woman from Mooretown who also suffered from CRPS and found a clinic in Florida that relieved her pain.

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The results were so dramatic the Whites asked their own specialist at St. Joseph’s Hospital pain clinic in London about the treatment.

It involves hefty infusions of ketamine, an anesthetic that White already takes orally in small doses. Ketamine infusions have been known to stop CRPS pain for months and even years but are unavailable in Ontario.

On the recommendation of White’s specialist, Dr. Patricia Morley-Forster, the Ontario Ministry of Health approved White’s treatment at The CRPS Treatment Centre and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida.

OHIP will pay the $8,000 price tag for the ketamine but won’t cover travel expenses including hotel and food bills.

The Whites expect to stay in Tampa for 14 days starting Dec. 2 at a cost of approximately $3,000.

But they don’t have the cash to go and are appealing for help. Angela collects disability and her mother works only two days a week.

“Some friends were going to have a benefit but it fell through,” said Jackie White. “Angela says if we don’t have the money, we can’t go, but I want to see her get this.

“Even if she can get a few months of mobility, we’ll take it.”

The Whites are hoping a good Samaritan will assist them.

“As far as we know, there are no service clubs or organizations that help adults in these circumstances,” said Jackie White.

She can be reached by calling 519-402-0876 or by e-mailing

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United front to help brave Mitch

United front to help brave Mitch

MITCH Cavanagh spent his 12th birthday confined to a bed in Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital.

But Tweed firefighters, police and ambulance officers did everything they could to make the day more enjoyable.

The combined emergency services held a fundraising evening on Friday night for Mitch, who suffers from a rare neurological disorder which affects his muscle movement.

The money will help Mitch’s family, including dad Steve, a Tweed Heads firefighter, who has spent the past six months in Sydney.

“When Mitch’s hip started hurting in April they thought it was a football injury,” Mr Cavanagh said.

After months of tests, doctors still had no answers and Mitch had to be hospitalised for pain control.

“Finally the doctor diagnosed Mitch with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD),” Mr Cavanagh said.

“It affects Mitch’s entire left leg and hip and has also spread to his right shoulder and arm.

“He has not walked or used his arm for five months.”

Mitch, who previously enjoyed playing football, surfing and riding his motorbike, is bed-bound.

The brave 12-year-old receives two daily sessions with a physio and spends time with a psychologist to help him through.

“There is no cure for this debilitating and insidious disease,” Mr Cavanagh said.

“Mitch lives in a world of pain that is beyond our comprehension.”

Through generous donations and support, Friday night’s event raised $12,500 to help the Cavanagh family.

“There’s still money to come in,” Tweed Heads Fire Station commander Chris Perrin said.

The event was made possible through the help of a number of businesses, including North Real Estate, the Shaping Co, Fox Wetsuits and Cossy’s Mower Centre.

Donations to the Mitch Cavanagh Benefit Fund can be made through the Tweed Heads Fire Station on (07) 5536 2222.

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Golf calamity yields $227,500

Golf calamity yields $227,500

A drunken round of golf has cost one man more than $225,000 and another man a lifetime of pain.

A Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decision released Friday has upheld a Nova Scotia Supreme Court decision awarding an injured golfer $85,000 in damages, $67,500 in lost income and $75,000 for lost future earning capacity.

The case is the result of a golf game played over seven years ago. The decision does not say where the game was held.

On June 18, 2002, Alan Bezanson and Travis Hayter, accompanied by two other men, headed out to play golf.

The game followed a wedding celebration and along with their clubs, the golfers were packing tequila, marijuana and beer.

According to the decision, by the time the group hit the 16th hole, Mr. Hayter had smoked a joint and drank nine beer plus about 280 millilitres of tequila.

It was on that hole, that the game went south.

Mr. Hayter was the last to hit. His first shot went into the trees. He hit a second shot which landed on the fairway. Believing Mr. Hayter was finished, the others headed toward their balls. That’s when Mr. Hayter hit a “Happy Gilmore” shot with a running windup. The ball headed straight for Mr. Bezanson.

Mr. Bezanson heard someone yell “heads up,” and had just enough time to put up his hand to protect his head, when the ball hit him on the wrist and then bounced to his chest.

“The defendant’s conduct breached the standard care required of a golfer playing on a course with other golfers,” the appeal decision quoted the trial judge.

The injury permanently damaged Mr. Bezanson’s radial nerve or its distribution from the wrist, and Mr. Bezanson suffered complex regional pain syndrome as a result.

The ongoing pain in his hand and wrist has made it hard for the 38-year-old married woodsman, who has three children, to cut wood. He has been able to do light farm work.

In reaching their decision, the panel of justices rejected Mr. Hayter’s appeal of the initial court’s decision that awarded the cash to Mr. Bezanson. They also denied Mr. Bezanson’s appeal for more money.

Both Mr. Bezanson and Mr. Hayter must pay their own costs resulting from the appeal, the decision states.


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Hospitalized 7th-grader shares his faith

Hospitalized 7th-grader shares his faith

Posted on Nov 16, 2009
by Ken Walker LOUISVILLE, Ky.

(BP)– Sandra Flaherty’s son, Michael, was about halfway into a seven-week-long rehabilitation regimen at a Boston hospital when he received a surprise present from fellow church members: a Nintendo Wii.

The popular game system included an exercise module designed to make his daily routine easier and more fun.

The seventh-grader called the gift from Hunsinger Lane Baptist Church “over and beyond a million percent.”

“I couldn’t put it into words,” he said of the support that included more than 150 get well cards and other expressions of encouragement for him and his family.

“My Sunday School class did stuff for me, or their parents, or their parents’ friends,” Michael said of the Louisville, Ky., church.

“People across the country were praying for me — people I didn’t even know,” he added.

Michael admitted that when his battle with CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) began, it shook his faith. Not only did his condition keep getting worse, he kept praying but not seeing any answers.

“When I got to Boston and met some nice doctors, they knew I wasn’t faking it,” Michael said of the frustration of originally being told there was nothing wrong with him. “I met other people, too, and we cheered each other on.”

Still, he had a painful first week there, screaming regularly because of pain and continuing to suffer numerous symptoms. Doctors told him that was normal for the first week, which proved to be true.

At the end of that week, he was able to twitch a toe without it hurting. That was followed by a foot and an ankle.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Michael said of his first pain-free movements in months. “It was the most awesome miracle I had ever seen.”

His mother is proud of the way her son regularly asked doctors and other hospital personnel if they were Christians.

One of those encounters was with a clinical assistant who regularly visited with Michael and handled tasks that his condition prevented him from undertaking.

Michael asked if the man’s Baptist church had AWANA, a Bible-based children’s program. The question subsequently led to a visit from an AWANA representative to the church – followed by plans to start AWANA there this fall.

“I felt so good,” Michael said when he learned of the church’s decision. “I was so happy. I saw how God was using this and how He can turn something bad into something good. It shows how good He is.”

“My little missionary,” said his mother, who has taught 3- and 4-year-olds in the AWANA program at Hunsinger Lane for 10 years. “There are hardly any AWANA churches in Massachusetts.”

Flaherty said her son also shared his faith in Christ with four teenage girls who were in the same rehabilitation wing.

A booklet of about 30 Bible verses about healing and other topics that she prepared for Michael to use during therapy proved so popular she wound up making copies for all the girls, Flaherty said.

Today, after once thinking he would never walk again, Michael plans to play for his middle school’s soccer team and is overjoyed that he is able to run and do back flips on his trampoline.

Reflecting on the most important lesson he’s learned during the past six months, Michael said he sees that when life is rough and it feels like nothing will get better, God is always there.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “He’s always waiting for you and He’s always with you.

“That’s huge. God does everything for a reason. We can’t always see it but we’ve got to trust Him.”

His mother, meanwhile, has become an advocate for informing the public about CRPS, which used to be known as RSD, for reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Hence, the website for CRPS is

Usually caused by a minor trauma, CRPS is characterized by such symptoms as burning, stabbing pain, extreme sensitivity to any touch, swelling and pain that steadily worsens instead of getting better.

The doctor who admitted Michael to the clinic in Boston told Flaherty that he had treated 900 patients with CRPS over the last 25 years.

“What a horrifying statistic,” Flaherty said.

She said that 80 percent of patients respond to outpatient and occupational therapy, with only 20 percent becoming severe enough to require further intervention.
Ken Walker is a freelance writer based in Huntington, W.Va.

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Single mom & son buoyed by their church

Single mom & son buoyed by their church

Posted on Nov 16, 2009
by Ken Walker LOUISVILLE, Ky.

(BP)– To Sandra Flaherty, her church has always felt like family. But after members rallied to help when a rare disease struck her son, she feels like she has seen God in action.

Among the numerous tasks members of Hunsinger Lane Baptist Church handled this summer were mowing her yard, trimming her bushes, power washing her deck, installing light fixtures and stocking her refrigerator.

They also bought gasoline and food cards and offered other financial assistance.

“I thought, ‘This is the way God works,'” said Flaherty, a member of the Louisville-area for 10 years. “This is how He uses people to solve problems. My church family has gone above and beyond the norm.”

A single mother of three boys, Flaherty’s ordeal started last March when she took 12-year-old Michael to a Louisville hospital for treatment of strep throat and a stomach virus.

She said the nurse who administered a penicillin shot for strep throat put it in the wrong place and nicked a vein, causing a blood clot to lie on the sciatic nerve.

That triggered a central nervous system condition known as CPRS (complex regional pain syndrome), which short-circuits the nervous system and causes it to misfire.

As a result, the brain perceives every sensation as severe pain, Flaherty said.

Following intense pain the night of the shot, Michael was unable to walk the next morning. He walked with a limp for a week and complained of a burning leg and a knot at the injection site.

The following week a pediatrician told him the discomfort would clear up on its own. It didn’t.

Symptoms such as sharp, hot pains in his leg, swelling in his foot and discoloration of the skin led to the use of crutches, then a walker and in May confinement to a wheelchair. As the pain intensified, Michael would spend hours a day screaming.

What hurt worse was the reaction of various doctors, Flaherty said.

“Many of them told him there was nothing wrong with him and that he was ‘making it up,'” she recalled. “That only traumatized Michael and made the whole situation much worse.”

Unable to find help locally, Flaherty did extensive Internet research, trying to learn more about her son’s ailment. One night around 1 a.m., she said, “God, I don’t know what else to do.”

Just then, a pop-up ad appeared on her screen. When she closed out the ad, she found herself looking at the site of a special children’s clinic at a Boston hospital that opened last year.

She called the next morning, telling them she didn’t have a doctor’s reference since she had been unable to find any help for her son. Though the clinic was full, the hospital agreed to see Michael for an evaluation on May 13.

Then God intervened again. Before the trip to Boston, Flaherty took Michael to see a specialist. He wound up being examined by the doctor’s partner, who recognized CRPS.

“I thought, ‘How cool of God to send in a different doctor,'” she said. “When we flew to Boston it was on a private medical jet owned by the hospital here. I wouldn’t have even known to ask for that, but the specialist became an advocate. She also made multiple calls to Boston.”

Michael was admitted to the hospital on May 24, two weeks before space opened in the clinic. After staying in a special parents’ room for the first 18 days, Flaherty needed a vehicle and a place to live.

Instead of renting a vehicle, Flaherty received the use of a van for free from a single mother at the Boston church a Hunsinger Lane member formerly attended.

And a couple from a Methodist church in a suburb offered the use of their home for a month.

While in Massachusetts, Flaherty said, she felt like she was along for a ride arranged by the Lord.

“Michael’s doctor was one of the leading specialists on CRPS in the country,” she said. “He does seminars, has written articles and parts of books. God did all that; I didn’t. All I did was try to take care of my child.”

Back in Louisville, meanwhile, God was moving hearts at her church.

After learning about Flaherty — who works as a baby photographer at Baptist Hospital East — one member gave Hunsinger Lane senior pastor Charlie Davis a check for $2,000, insisting his gift remain anonymous.

Other financial help came from a special fund initiated last February, where members put spare change into plates at the end of Sunday’s service, which raises up to $300 a week.

“We talk a lot in church about finding ways to express our Christian faith and what we’re learning, so this created ways to do that,” Davis said.

Paul Bruce, who teaches the Sunday School class that Flaherty attends, called the assistance one of the most meaningful activities he’s been involved in over the past eight years of teaching.

“We really felt needed,” Bruce said. “The need was way bigger than us. You know the Lord would have to do that, but we could help. That’s how each one of us felt.”

After a painful first week in which Michael gradually learned to wiggle a toe, followed by a foot and an ankle, he gradually improved. By the time they returned home the second week of July, he could walk, run and do back flips on a trampoline.

Flaherty’s battles aren’t over. She has consulted an attorney after a dispute with the hospital over responsibility for the misguided injection. And in August, her paternal grandfather and a friend from the church died.

Even so, Flaherty said, “I want to thank God. We want everyone to know who helped us how appreciative we are. Every little thing that Michael can do now — he’s like a kid in a candy store. He says, ‘I don’t know how God will use this, but He will.'”
Ken Walker is a freelance writer based in Huntington, W.Va. This article first appeared in the Western Recorder (, newsjournal of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Law Firm Boone & Davis Settles Slip and Fall Case for Local Woman

Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Law Firm Boone & Davis Settles Slip and Fall Case for Local Woman

Michael Davis, Esq. a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney, announced today that a slip and fall case has been settled for a local woman suffering from complex regional pain syndrome.

Fort Lauderdale, FL (PRWEB) November 12, 2009 — Michael Davis, Esq. a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney, announced today that a slip and fall case has been settled for a local woman suffering from complex regional pain syndrome in the court case Clark v Onesource facility services, LP Case #04018871 in Broward County, 17th judicial circuit.

“The plaintiff, a woman in her early 40s was walking in the area and slipped, but did not fall and suffered a minor sprain. The sprain was treated with a cast by an orthopedic surgeon. Within a few months, the orthopedic surgeon saw symptoms consistent with CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome)” said Michael Davis, partner at the Boone and Davis Law firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The owner of the property and the cleaning company initially denied the claim alleging that the plaintiff saw the defendant’s employee with a mop in hand, had ignored the caution sign and had insufficient symptoms to support a diagnosis of this crippling disease. After years of litigation and countless depositions regarding liability and the diagnosis of CRPS, the case was scheduled for trial. Approximately 30 days before the case was to be determined by a jury in West Palm Beach, the defendant agreed to a significant, confidential settlement.

The plaintiff will now be able to offset her diminished earning ability with the interest to be earned on the settlement proceeds and will have the funds necessary to obtain continuing medical care.

“We are thrilled that our client has been able to put this case behind her and receive compensation for her case” said Michael Davis, a Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer.

About Boone & Davis At Boone and Davis, we know there are many Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers to choose from. David Boone & Michael Davis built their reputations over the past 28 years as south florida personal injury lawyers on sheer commitment; hard work and ethical conduct that help dictate the favorable results for most of its cases. Their long years of dedicated effort has also provided the firm’s attorneys the ability to resolve claims for amounts that leave them proud and their clients thrilled.

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