Thank you for giving a young girl from Canada suffering from RSD hope for a better life when it seemed that there was no possible escape from the endless suffering.
Heather Kennedy-Redmond’s RSD began when she was 18 years old and over the next 6 years despite aggressive treatments has continued to progress to the point that it now affects all areas of her body. The burning, stabbing, electrical shock pain has incapacitated her and made it impossible to live a normal life. Previous to RSD Heather lead an active life participating in numerous 10 K. runs, triathlons, baseball, swimming and socializing with friends before she was stricken with debilitating RSD.
In an effort to manage pain Heather travels to Canada’s noted Hamilton Health Science Pain Management Centre every month for almost 3 years to endure epidurals, nerve blocks throughout her entire body and trigger point injections. She has traveled to many other areas of the province to noted Canadian doctors and consulted doctors in other areas of the country as well as the U.S. in an effort to arrest the spread of the RSD. Her medications have included anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-convulsants, steroids, anti-depressants, muscle relaxants, pain and sleep medications. She has tried alternative treatments, electro stimulation, photon and laser therapy. She regularly endures excruciating physical therapy and water therapy, and practices relaxation techniques and has had counseling sessions to help deal with the pain.
Despite all of this her condition has continued to deteriorate to where the blocks are no longer effective and the burning, stabbing, electrical shock RSD pain and allodynia has spread from her right leg, to her hips, back, left leg, both arms and hands, face, head, abdominal and chest area and feet. As her condition continued to deteriorate we contacted you and traveled to the University of South Florida where you administered stellate ganglion and lumbar sympathetic blocks in an attempt to alleviate pain and arrest the RSD as this was the only treatment that Heather had not yet tried. This unfortunately did not help to alleviate any of Heather’s pain as after 6 years of RSD it has now become sympathetically independent pain and there are no other alternatives for treatment.
We had been following the Ketamine Coma study in Germany and read the Neurology Today report on the proposed study with yourself at the University of South Florida and knew that this was now something that we must pursue. Heather has lost 6 years of her young life. She has made every attempt to move forward by becoming engaged and getting married but her physical condition continues to deteriorate. Since she is physically unable to work, her days consist of being mostly bed ridden, unable to stand, sit or walk for any length of time and constantly feel nauseated from the pain. She cannot be touched anywhere on her body by her husband or loved ones without pain. She forces herself to attend her excruciating physical therapy in an effort to be mobile as recently there have been times when she has been unable to walk or support her own weight. She has stated that she feels like a spectator simply watching her life go by, unable to participate.
The fact that she is so eager to participate in the ketamine coma study speaks to the desperation that she feels. We understand all that is involved and the risks associated with it and feel that this study is what holds promise for a new life for those caught in the nightmare of RSD. Heather is now extremely excited to participate in this study while she is young and healthy and still has a chance to regain control of her life and perhaps someday have children. Thanks to doctors like you there is hope. We thank you for your perseverance in the fight against RSD.
September 15, 2006
The graph above demonstrates continuing improvement of pain thresholds 2.5 years after the ketamine coma procedure.