Getting comfortable in her own skin again

Maggin-6-(2).jpgSeveral years into a worsening chronic illness, Maggin found herself unable to tolerate any motion in a vehicle without suffering from pain. She was living in Prince George and needed to travel to Vancouver to receive treatment, but she was unable to make this commute until she heard about Hope Air. 

Maggin’s condition gave a whole new meaning to the idea of being “uncomfortable in your skin.” 

What began as sharp, sudden spasms in her right arm and wrist kept intensifying to the point where her wrist would swell with shocking pain and blotches that were unpredictably hot or cold to the touch. When Maggin sought medical help, she was diagnosed in Kelowna with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). Because it wasn’t diagnosed in the first couple of months, the illness had spread. 

Feeling scared and hopeless, it wasn’t long before the pain started spreading to other limbs and simple tasks like showering or dressing became unbearably painful. Also, Maggin was diagnosed with a very sensitive skin condition known as Complex Neuropathic Pain, and she desperately dreamed of a normal life that was free of constant pain. 

Maggin researched her options and discovered a specialist named Dr. Lau, who treated patients with her condition. However, accessing the procedures to block pain receptors and reduce sensitivity would entail a commute to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, close to 800 kilometers away.   

“I wanted to be treated by Dr. Lau and get my life back. But the question I kept thinking was, after being on disability for several years, how can I get myself to Vancouver without having to drive?” Maggin could hardly endure a 15-minute car ride. 

“Thankfully, a physiotherapist told me about Hope Air.”

Hope Air flew Maggin to Vancouver where she started on a lower dose of treatment. In the beginning, it took the edge off her sensitivity and pain, but only for a short time. “There were a lot of side effects and it took me three months to recover from that treatment, but from the moment I left the hospital, I was pain-free for the first time in years. I wished that I could have shaken hands with all of the donors and hugged them to thank them for their support.”

She continued with the treatments, flying to Vancouver regularly, before taking a break in 2015.

In 2016, Maggin faced setbacks in her treatment due to liver complications but kept pressing on. She now lived in Edmonton and was seeking out a pain specialist, while also receiving treatment in Vancouver to heat and block her nerves.

I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn’t for Hope Air.

Today, Maggin’s liver has healed and she is hopeful that once the nerves from her neck to her lower back have been treated, she will be able to manage well enough to only need to travel yearly. During the last seven years, Maggin has had to make over 50 trips for treatment, an impossible feat without help from Hope Air. 

“I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn’t for Hope Air. Knowing some people care and who are backing me up means the world to me."