Woman With ‘Suicide Disease’ Suffers ‘Unbearable’ Pain Up To 25 Times A Day

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Representation. A hospital bed.

A British woman who was diagnosed with a rare condition that causes "agonizing pain" has launched a fundraiser to finance a surgery that could offer her relief and give her the opportunity to raise a family.

Laura Cruz, 28, woke up on Jan. 12 with a faint tingling on the right side of her lip that developed into severe pain within a matter of weeks, 7News.com.au reported.

Doctors initially mistook Cruz's condition for shingles, but she was later diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) after visiting a specialist and undergoing tests, according to the outlet.

Dubbed "suicide disease" for the pain it causes, trigeminal neuralgia is a neuropathic disorder characterized by episodes of intense pain in the face that originate from the trigeminal nerve. This nerve starts near the top of the ear and splits in three, toward the eye, cheek and jaw, and is responsible for sending pain, touch and temperature sensations from the face to the brain.

Cruz said she began experiencing up to "25 times per day" severe pain that has caused her to "scream out loud."

"I can’t brush my hair or teeth, eat, sleep, stand in the wind, touch my face at all without feeling the intense pain of being electrocuted across my face," explained the primary school teacher, who married 29-year-old cameraman Tony Cruz in the summer.

"The flare-ups are so bad that I now understand why it's called the Suicide Disease," she added.

Medication has been "helping" Cruz, but she said the side effects, such as memory loss and organ trouble, among others, were "causing more harm than good."

Additionally, she has been advised against having children as there is a high chance of the medication causing deformities.

Cruz later approached a private neurosurgeon and was told an invasive operation called microvascular decompression could offer her immediate and long-term pain relief. The procedure would relieve the pressure placed on her trigeminal nerve from blood vessels that are touching the nerve or are wrapped around it.

Wait times in Britain's National Health Service, however, have forced Cruz to seek private treatment as she "can't wait that long" while suffering "unbearable" pain, according to her GoFundMe campaign, which is trying to raise a portion of the £18,000 ($23,940) she needs for the Jan. 20 surgery.

The major operation is the "nearest thing to a cure" for Cruz, who said it would give her "10 years of no pain" and allow her to have a family.

"This operation could allow me to get back my freedom and to love my life again pain-free. To be the person I had always dreamt of being, to be a wife, a daughter, a granddaughter, an auntie and one day a mum! This could be the start to my very own beginning," she wrote.

Cruz’s fundraiser has surpassed its initial £6,000 ($7,990) goal and raised £7,133 ($9,485) as of this writing.

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.


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Representation. Laura Cruz, 28, claims an invasive operation called a microvascular decompression is the "nearest thing to a cure" for her rare Trigeminal neuralgia.
Photo: Pixabay


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