Huge support for woman enduring pain

  • Aug. 27, 2010 10:39 p.m.

Red Deer resident Melanie ten Haaft, who lives daily with relentless pain because of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, is grateful for the support she’s received since her story has gone public.

ten Haaft shared her story with the Red Deer Express last week, and since its publication the support folks have shown has been tremendous, she said.

“I haven’t been able to call everyone back yet – it’s been overwhelming,” she said.

September 18, 2008 started out like any other day for ten Haaft, who at the time owned a cleaning business. She arrived at a city house to begin work and suddenly her life changed forever. She tripped over some work boots, fell down some stairs and knew immediately she had seriously injured her left foot.

Doctors told her that within four to six weeks she should be able to walk on it again. But things didn’t get better. Any pressure on her leg caused immense pain. Doctors eventually came to the conclusion that ten Haaft suffers from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

She has undergone physical therapy and doctors have tried nerve blockage treatments which didn’t help.

But hyperbaric oxygen therapy is something she’s aiming to undergo. She’s currently on the lookout for the province to help cover the treatment which is available in Alberta and B.C.

If the province doesn’t cover the costs, she could be facing upwards of $20,000 to pay for it.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves the breathing of 100% pure oxygen while in a sealed chamber pressurized to greater than normal atmospheric pressure.

Meanwhile, ten Haaft’s friend Shelly Lienau has organized fundraising through PartyLite, which sells candles and a variety of accessories. She can be reached at 403-980-9979.

Other fundraisers are in the works as well, including hot dog sales at the south Save-On-Foods. Those are set to run July 9-10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, ten Haaft is encouraged by the thoughtfulness of Central Albertans. She said that as of Tuesday morning, she still had 63 messages to respond to. Offers of donations have also been forthcoming, but mostly people just want to offer their support and suggestions.

“It’s been phenomenal the number of people who are willing to sit there and figure out how to help,” she said. Others have contacted her with their own stories of dealing with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. “My phone has not stopped ringing.”

For more information about how you can help ten Haaft, call her at 403-505-0736.