27th June, 2016

WHEN mum-of-two Brooke Haycock was losing strength in her hands and having trouble walking, her worst fears began bubbling in her mind.Mum-of-two Brooke Haycock is relieved for the EMG monitor which assisted in her diagnosis of a rare condition.

Mum-of-two Brooke Haycock is relieved for the EMG monitor which assisted in her diagnosis of a rare condition.

“I was petrified,” the 42-year-old said.

“It was the day before Mother’s Day when my legs and hands started to feel weird – I had no strength in them, they didn’t feel right.”

Turning on a tap, dressing and even brushing her teeth had become some of the most difficult tasks.

“It just happened so quickly. I went to Caloundra Hospital where they checked I wasn’t having a stroke and they transferred me to Nambour Hospital.”

Three days later and after undergoing several tests, Mrs Haycock was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome – a disorder of the immune system which causes rapid-onset of muscle weakness. The disorder often involves a lengthy recovery and in rare cases, can be fatal.

“Each day it took to get a diagnosis, the symptoms were getting worse and worse,” the Currimundi resident said.

“My worst fear was thinking I was not going to walk again. My husband had to go out and buy a walker.”

While the cause of the condition is a mystery, Mrs Haycock has made an almost-full recovery following plasma infusions and physiotherapy.

“If they don’t diagnose it quick enough, there can be serious long-term problems. I was one of the lucky ones, they caught it quickly so I healed quicker.”

Nambour General Hospital neurologist Dr Tomin Mooney said Mrs Haycock was diagnosed through the use of a Nerve Conduction EMG Monitor, which is in demand across the health service.

Dr Mooney said through Wishlist’s Tax Appeal, he was eager to get funding for a second EMG monitor worth $52,000 to enhance the neurology department and ease waiting times for patients.

“This could potentially help hundreds of patients,” Dr Mooney said.

“If we had two machines, we could do more tests as we have an expanding need for neurological testing and treatment services now, and with the opening of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.”

Wishlist is currently raising funds to purchase the monitor which assists the diagnosis of conditions including multiple sclerosis which can disrupt the ability of the nervous system, Guillian Barre Syndrome, and certain rare forms of epilepsy.

“The EMG stimulates nerves electrically with small electrical pulses and records muscle activity directly with a recording needle,” Dr Mooney explained.

“This allows doctors to evaluate the health of a particular nerve or muscle.”

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said the second EMG monitor was now top of the priority ‘wish list’ for the Coast’s hospital foundation.

“We would love for all Sunshine Coast residents to consider making a donation to this incredibly worthy cause in an effort to improve lives and save precious time,” Ms Rowe said.

Mrs Haycock urged people to consider making a tax-deductible donation.

“If it wasn’t for that machine, it would have taken longer to diagnose and my condition would have been a lot worse,” Mrs Haycock said.

Can you help? Donate now by selecting the ‘donate’ tab at www.wishlist.org.au.


Media Contact:

Bianca Keegan – Wishlist Communications Coordinator, 5470 9737 or 0438 758 925