Another blow for brave Rachel - The Evesham Observer

Another blow for brave Rachel

Evesham Editorial 6th Dec, 2019   0

A PERSHORE mum has been dealt a fresh blow in her fight for life after she was diagnosed with vascular thoracic outlet syndrome.

Rachel Pighills, 33, was given the news following an appointment at Kings College Hospital in London, meaning the blood supply in her arms can be cut when she raises her arms or shoulders.

The brave mum has also been unable to breathe properly at times, sparking fears her condition is deteriorating rapidly.

Rachel suffers from atlantoaxial instability, which means her spine partially dislocates each time she turns her head to the left, increasing her risk of paralysis. Should it fully dislocate, Rachel will die.

The Observer reported in October on Rachel and her husband Guy’s desperate race to fund the £135,000 needed for life-saving surgery in Barcelona.

She faces an adenoidectomy where part of the c2 section of her neck which is compressing her brain stem will be removed.

Her consultant Dr Gilete is one of just three specialists in the world capable of the procedure and will operate to fuse her spinal cord from the base of her skull to just above her shoulder blades.

The procedure will mean Rachel will lose the ability to turn her neck in either direction but will save her life.

“There are risks from the surgery from complications to death. But without the surgery I am going to die anyway so it’s a risk I need to take,” she said.

Husband Guy said: “Dr Gilete has told us everyone has two options: surgery or no surgery but in Rachel’s case doing nothing is not an option.”

The plea for help comes more than two years after Rachel first ill, though the gravity of her situation was only fully revealed this summer.

Should the funding bid be successful, Rachel will be in a halo for a week before the surgery to fuse her neck and will be in Barcelona for six weeks before a long rehabilition because of the nerve damage she has suffered. She won’t be able to lift anything weighing more than 2kg for a year after the surgery.

Anyone with fund-raising ideas or who is able to get in touch to help the devoted couple in their hour of need is asked to get in touch via their Facebook page. Search ‘Rachel’s Fight for Life’ for more.

Visit and search Rachel’s Fight For Life for more on the fund-raising effort.

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