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Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Diagnosis In 12-Year-Old Girl

Evie Austin’s life changed when she was diagnosed with CRPS following a family holiday.


At Brian Barr Solicitors, one of the chronic pain conditions that we specialise in is complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a poorly understood disease that causes persistent and debilitating pain for sufferers. Over the years, we have met many patients of all ages and have worked alongside them to secure the CRPS compensation they deserve. CRPS is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60, which is why a recent article surrounding the story of a 12-year-old CRPS sufferer surprised us and caught our eye. To find out why and learn more about her journey, continue reading.

Once a normal carefree schoolgirl, Evie Austin is now a 12-year-old CRPS sufferer who cannot walk after being stung by a weever fish during a family holiday in Perranporth, Cornwall. As soon as the incident happened, Evie’s leg turned purple and she passed out from the pain. The spines of weever fish are known to contain a venom which causes excruciating pain and swelling in humans. Once stung, pain typically peaks at 30 minutes and is usually resolved within 24 hours, however for Evie, the pain didn’t subside and things didn’t seem to be getting better, despite the sting being thoroughly washed by experts immediately after.

Evie’s mother, Jane, naturally expected things to improve, however weeks turned into months and Evie lost her mobility completely. Due to her worries, Jane took Evie to A&E where they were referred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital. In October, Evie and her family received the news that she had developed CRPS as a result of her injury, two months after she was stung on the beach in Cornwall.

Now, Evie is unable to put any weight on her leg and is confined to a wheelchair. As well as her everyday life, Evie’s school life has also been negatively affected by the condition; she can only attend school for four hours per week due to the fact that her leg needs to be raised to ease swelling and, due to the cocktail of painkillers she takes to ease her pain, Evie regularly experiences a lack of concentration. Her pain and sensitivity is so severe that she cannot bathe her leg and can’t bear anything being on her foot – including blankets and tissue.

Although life with CRPS is incredibly disruptive for Evie, her family are trying to keep everything as normal as possible, hoping that one day she will go into remission – this is something that doctors have deemed possible. Her family are also working hard to desensitise her leg by slowly dipping it into warm water for set periods of time, increasing the length each time.

In February 2016, Evie’s family began a fundraising campaign to raise money to buy her a wheelchair and, in just a few days, they raised over £1,455 in total. Due to the family’s previous success, they are continuing to fundraise in Evie’s name for Sheffield Children’s Hospital as a thanks for their hard work and care. Evie’s uncle will also be taking on the challenge of the Coast to Coast ‘Way of the Roses’ bike ride in July 2017 to raise money for Evie’s cause and the Sheffield Children’s Hospital, which you can make a donation to here.

If you have developed the condition as a result of an accident or injury that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to CRPS compensation. To begin your CRPS insurance claim, simply get in touch with us to discuss your case. Call us for free on 0808 123 0003 or fill in our online contact form and we’ll get in touch with you. Alternatively, if Evie’s story has inspired you to share your own, get in touch with us on our Facebook page and join our online community.

We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.

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