A group of people in Foxford have come together to help to raise funds for a 37-year-old local woman who needs specialist treatment in the UK for vulvodynia.
Vicky Costello is 37 years old, married to Micheal and they have two children, Katelyn aged four years old and Micheal Jnr aged one. They live in Culmore, Foxford. Vicki developed a condition after the birth of her first child, Katelyn, but was only formally diagnosed with the rare form of vulvodynia 12 months ago. Vicky’s condition is severely debilitating. She lives with chronic neuropathic pain at all times. Even basic everyday tasks such as showering and moving around are difficult. Her quality of life has suffered hugely as a result. One sufferer likened the pain to having acid “splashed on her skin”.
Vicky’s condition can be treated and her pain managed. However, her treatment is not available in this country. Vicky was referred to a consultant in Harley Street, London, Dr Chris Jenner who specialises in treating vulvodynia. As Dr Jenner works privately, both the cross border directive and the travel abroad treatment schemes do not apply there.
Vicky requires a number of sessions of X-ray guided bilateral pulsed radiofrequency treatment. This complex treatment costs €5,000 per session including travel to Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith, or St Elizabeth’s Hospital, Grove Road, London. Vicky underwent two of these treatments in May and in July and she has responded well to both. These treatments were paid for by the young couple’s savings and the couple's GoFundMe page. Ideally each treatment should be four to six weeks apart, subject to Vicky’s recovery and response to same. These treatments are the first steps in Vicky’s recovery. If successful, Dr Jenner has then highly recommended a number of nerve stimulation treatment procedures. These procedures come at a cost of €5,000 per session. The final part of Vicky’s treatment would be intensive physiotherapy over a period of six to seven months, at a further cost of €7,500.
The group that has come together is looking to the kindness of the community and wider circle of friends and contacts at home and abroad to help to get Vicky back to full health. This will be achieved by continuing her specialised treatment in the UK. The volunteers are driven to get the funds together to achieve Vicky’s goal. A bank account has been set up and all donations are gratefully accepted: AIB Swinford, BIC AIBKIE2D, IBAN IE91AIBK93726607857099. A number of different fundraisers are planned over the next couple of months in order to achieve the goal of raising €40,000 plus.
For more information on Vicky’s condition visit the following websites: www.nva.org and www.vulvalpainsociety.org Upcoming fundraising initiatives including a 5k sponsored walk in Castlebar on Sunday August 14 at 2pm.