Viewer praise mother in labour for ‘exceptional courage’ as she suffers excruciating seizures through her body due to a rare neurolgical condition – but gives birth with NO epidural
- Tara, 29, from Liverpool suffers with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)
- Developed condition which causes shooting pain after car accident 6 years ago
- BBC2 documentary Hospital showed her giving birth while having seizures
- Went through labour with only morphine patches and gas and air for pain relief
A woman has been praised for her ‘exceptional courage’ after experiencing ‘excruciating’ seizures throughout her entire body while giving birth.
Tara, 29, from Liverpool, developed a rare neurological disorder, after she was hit by a car six years ago and experiences severe shooting pains throughout her entire body.
The mother-of-two appeared on BBC2 documentary ‘Hospital’ on Thursday night where she was seen giving birth to her second child, Jamie, using only morphine patches and gas and air as pain relief.
She had already decreased her current medication for her Functional Neurological Disorder to reduce the risk to her new baby.
The condition affects patients in a similar way to diseases such as Parkinson’s, but is not caused by a structural problem with the nervous system, and is often medically unexplained.
Tara, 29, from Liverpool, developed a rare neurological disorder, after she was hit by a car six years ago. As a result, she experiences severe shooting pains throughout her entire body and seizures while in labour (pictured)
Speaking of her condition, Tara said it first started a few weeks after she had a car accident.
‘I’d gone back to work, but overnight it was this excruciating pain.
‘I couldn’t get up and it was trauma that affected my brain. Your brain is telling your body, you’re in excruciating pain when it shouldn’t be.
‘I couldn’t understand it because the doctors couldn’t give me a reason.’
What is Functional neurological disorder (FND)?
Functional neurological disorder (FND) is a disabling cause of neurological symptoms. People with FND can experience a wide variety of symptoms including:
- Weakness and abnormal patterns of movement (e.g. tremor, abnormal posturing of limbs, gait problems)
- Attacks of abnormal movement/change in awareness that resemble epileptic seizures
- Sensory problems
- Cognitive problems
- Visual and speech problems
While the symptoms may appear similar to neurological diseases including those of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and epilepsy, and can be just as disabling, they are not caused by structural disease of the nervous system, but instead are a problem with the ‘functioning’ of the nervous system and are often called ‘medically unexplained’.
People with FND appear to lose the ability to control or access their body normally. The ‘basic wiring’ of the nervous system is intact, but when people with FND try to use it to move, feel or think, they cannot control it normally.
Exactly how many people get FND is unknown, but it’s estimated to be around 14-22 cases per 100,000 people.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said FND patients make up about a quarter of its neurology patients.
For most people the symptoms are only short-lived, but in others they can last for months or years.
Its cause is poorly understood but scientists have likened it to a glitch in the brain which cause symptoms to continue after they are first experienced because of a physical injury, infectious illness, panic attack or migraine.
Depending on their condition patients may be given physiotherapy, psychological therapy or occupational therapy – or a mix.
Sources: NORD, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Medical News Today
The condition has symptoms that appear similar to neurological diseases including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and epilepsy, and can be just as disabling.
But they are not caused by structural issues in the nervous system, but instead a problem with its ‘functioning’.
Her difficult birth shocked and impressed viewers, with many praising her bravery and courage.
‘That was really stressful to watch. Tara’s baby is beautiful, congratulations to them both,’ said one.
The condition has symptoms that appear similar to neurological diseases including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and epilepsy, and can be just as disabling. Tara is pictured in labour
‘Well done, Tara. Beautiful baby. God bless you and your family,’ wrote another.
‘I’m so pleased Tara managed to deliver her baby how she wanted to,’ added a third.
‘What an inspirational eye-opener this program is. We should never let go of this marvelous service, praise the gift, that keeps on giving. Awesome’ wrote a fourth.
While chatting with her sonographer at seven-months pregnant, Tara said: ‘I’m not enjoying it as much as I want to. It’s hurting my back, the last couple of weeks my pain has been at nine.’
Her difficult birth shocked and impressed viewers, with many praising her bravery and courage
She went on: ‘I’m struggling to get to the bathroom myself again. I have fallen down, a couple of times a day at first, but now I’m getting told off for moving.
‘It’s too dangerous. I’ve fallen down the stairs. If I get the shooting pain in my right leg – I just have no control. As they progress treatment is going to get worse.’
Later, Tara’s doctor spoke of the risks of her second birth – admitting they couldn’t be sure how her body would react to the stress of childbirth.
She said: ‘It has to be her at the centre of this decision making and planning, we do not know how her body will react to this pain.’
Tara’s family looked on in support during her tricky labour which caused seizures in her entire body
Tara added: ‘I’m excited but i’m low because i’m in so much pain.’
She revealed that the medication she was currently taking to reduce her symptoms meant her baby had a higher risk of deformity, and so decided to lower her medication to prevent any risk to the baby.
‘It’s just getting more and more painful, she explained.
‘I don’t know how my body will react to the contractions and birth. We’re over the moon but I don’t know how we’re going to be.’
Tara is then seen going into labour struggling as the only medication she had were gas and air alongside morphine patches on her back.
The mother is quickly fully dilated and asks for morphine at 10cm dilated, before expressing the agonising pain in her back.
Following the birth the newborn was taken to the neo-natal intensive care unit, as doctors were concerned about his breathing.
However, after seven days in hospital, the couple received the news that baby Jamie had responded well to his treatment and would discharged to return to his family.
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