PRECIPICE - Sarah's Story | Children's Health Foundation


Build a Brighter 100 Years

Saving Young Lives, Like Sarah's

SarahSarah’s pain started in her wrist.

Medical professionals thought it was from her writing notes in high school and bagging groceries at her after-school job.

They diagnosed her with carpal tunnel syndrome. But, Sarah’s pain didn’t end with treatment and time.

Instead, the pain spread to other areas of her body over the next year. Life as she knew it started to change dramatically.


Increasing Pain Overwhelms
Her pain overwhelmed her and interfered with her ability to function. If you asked Sarah to pinpoint her pain on a diagram, she would have shaded in everything.

Sarah started missing work, then school and finally important moments with her family.
It got to the point that Sarah would spend more days on the couch than anywhere else.

“It was hard to go from being the girl that’s top of the class to kids wondering if I was even at school that day,” says Sarah.

It took a toll on her mental health.


Searching For Answers

Sarah and her family looked for answers.
They saw countless specialists, physiotherapists and emergency room doctors. She told her story again and again until the lack of answers and solutions became disheartening.

“We have nothing but respect for the medical professionals who tried to help us. They did their best but they didn’t know. The knowledge wasn’t there in the system,” says Colleen, Sarah’s mom.


Finding a Lifeline

After about two years of searching for help, Sarah finally received a lifeline.

She was referred to a geneticist and the Chronic Pain Program at Children’s Hospital.

The geneticist gave her answers.

The Chronic Pain Program gave her solutions.

Sarah was diagnosed with Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome – Type 3 Hypermobility.

Essentially, her body doesn’t produce enough collagen and as a result her joints will pop out and back in again. As you can imagine, this is incredibly painful and hard to detect.

The Chronic Pain Program, and its multidisciplinary team helped Sarah get back to being Sarah.

Sarah still has bad days.

But, she also has many good days.

She is attending university in Halifax, has a boyfriend and a dog she loves, and works a part-time job as a barista at Starbucks.


A “Lucky” One

Sadly, Sarah is one of the lucky ones.

Many young people never receive a definitive reason

for their suffering and little to no support in managing their chronic pain.

PRECIPICE aims to bring an end to the pain crisis and help protect more young people.

This landmark study will lead to consistent and timely pain management and chronic pain prevention for our loved ones and neighbours.

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