Norwich cluster headache sufferer raises funds for charity that saved his life
12:00 21 January 2013
A Norwich man who suffers from debilitating cluster headaches is gearing up for a charity challenge to help an organisation which saved his life.
Liam Dennis, of Dalrymple Way, first started getting the crippling pains, also known as suicide headaches, seven years ago and experiences up to ten attacks a day.
The 33-year-old, who compares the pain to being poked in the eye with a red hot poker for around 45 minutes, will mark the seventh anniversary of his diagnosis by running 7k, cycling 7k and walking 7k in seven hours at Sloughbottom Park in Norwich on June 1.
Mr Dennis, who works as a cleaner, hopes to raise hundreds of pounds for Ouch UK, to raise awareness and funds for finding a cure to cluster headaches.
The fundraiser said he had received an injection in his neck to help control the pain. However, as its worst he was suffering from 80 cluster headaches a month.
“The pain is within the right eye and head and the feeling is like a red hot poker being poked in the eye for a average of 45 minutes at a time repeated through the day. It is known as the worse pain known to man and worse than child birth,” he said.
Mr Dennis has a canister of 100pc oxygen that he carries around and has at home and injections he can administer to relieve the pain.
He added that Ouch UK had provided invaluable support and advice about the condition, which at the moment has no cure.
“In the beginning I was told by my GP to take paracetamol and I learnt a lot from Ouch UK. I phoned their helpline when I wanted to kill myself and they told me to try different things to ease the pain. They have saved my life and I want to do something to help them,” he said.
Mr Dennis sees a neurologist at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and hopes to have a procedure to insert a microchip in his neck to help cut down the number of attacks. Deep brain surgery is also an option for sufferers. Around 0.2pc of the population suffer from cluster headaches with men more likely to have the condition.
Mr Dennis can be sponsored by visiting uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=Limlamb&faId=276585&isTeam=true
For more information about Ouch UK, visit www.ouchuk.org or call the helpline on 01646 651979.