Netball scholar's dreams are destroyed after THREE conditions have been diagnosed within a year

Netball scholar's dreams are destroyed after THREE conditions have been diagnosed within a year

The dreams of a Netball scholar were destroyed after she had been diagnosed with three conditions within a year that prevented her from walking.

Letchen du Plessis, 20, of Pretoria, South Africa, initially became unwell when her hip "banged" on this sport in May of last year.

After a surgical procedure and 10 months of physiotherapy, Miss du Plessis, who studied economics, still had difficulty walking.

An MRI scan later showed that insufficient blood supply to the hip killed the bone in a disease known as avascular necrosis (AVN).

After completing her last of three operations in June to increase blood supply to her hip, she was later diagnosed with a complex regional pain syndrome called "suicidal disease."

And only a few months later, the hopeful athlete was told that she had the disorder dystonia when she was no longer able to control her foot, and she contracted into a claw.

Miss du Plessis, who had hoped to move to the UK to pursue her dream of a professional athlete, now relies on strong doses of painkillers to survive the day and has no idea what her future will bring.

The dreams of being a professional netball player by Letchen du Plessis were quashed when she was diagnosed with three conditions within a year she could not walk. Before she felt unwell, she relies on strong painkillers just to get through the day

The dreams of being a professional netball player by Letchen du Plessis were quashed when she was diagnosed with three conditions within a year she could not walk. Before she felt unwell, she relies on strong painkillers just to get through the day

The dreams of being a professional netball player by Letchen du Plessis were quashed when she was diagnosed with three conditions within a year she could not walk anymore. Before she felt unwell, she relies on strong painkillers just to get through the day

After her hip was "popped" on the court last May, Miss du Plessis's leg began to turn violet when her hip's blood supply was cut, causing the bone to die. On the third day of the operation, she had to have a bone drilled to increase blood flow

After her hip was "popped" on the court last May, Miss du Plessis's leg began to turn violet when her hip's blood supply was cut, causing the bone to die. On the third day of the operation, she had to have a bone drilled to increase blood flow

After her hip was "popped" in the field last May, Miss du Plessis' leg began to turn violet when the hip's blood supply was interrupted, causing the bone to die. On the third day of the operation, she had to have a bone drilled to increase blood flow

The X-ray shows the Miss du Plessis pelvis after having undergone three rounds of hip surgery

The X-ray shows the Miss du Plessis pelvis after having undergone three rounds of hip surgery

The X-ray shows the Miss du Plessis pelvis after having undergone three rounds of hip surgery

"In May 2017, I ran to the goalpost and my teammate threw the ball behind me," said Miss du Plessis.

"My left leg was already planted. When I caught the ball, I felt my leg go numb and my hip crack.

I tried to shake it off and tried to keep playing, but I knew something was wrong.

"I completely ripped open the labrum and some hip flexors in the left hip, which had to be repaired by surgery."

Miss du Plessis then performed three surgeries to improve the blood supply to her hip.

"The doctor did not know why mine occurred, and most of the time the doctors do not know why it happened," she said.

"I had to have hip surgery in June 2018 – I'm 20 years old and had three hip operations.

"The only way to cure AVN is with hip replacement, but I did not want a young man like that."

During recovery, she spent two months in bed before she could walk with crutches.

Miss du Plessis, however, noticed that her left leg was ice cold and purple and she could not move her toes.

"Two months after the surgery, I noticed that my toes were not working," she said. "I could not move her [and] The more I strained my leg, the worse the pain became.

Back to the doctor and after every possible test, I received another diagnosis. This time CRPS.

"The pain is synonymous with an ice bath and then immediately get into a hot shower. I have this pain all day and all night. "

Miss du Plessis' foot lost its function during the treatment of the pain until it resembled a claw.

"That's his job now," she said.

"My foot curls into a ball and it feels like my toes are breaking. They make repeated movements up and down.

"The AVN exacerbates the other two conditions because I need a hip replacement, but surgery allows the CRPS to spread across the rest of my body."

Doctors can not explain to a frustrated Miss du Plessis why it all happened.

"No doctor can explain why it happened. That's the hardest thing to wrap around my head, the unknowing part. Will it spread? Only time will tell, "she said.

Miss du Plessis refused a hip replacement because she was only 20 years old. After her last operation, a regional pain syndrome was quickly diagnosed

Miss du Plessis refused a hip replacement because she was only 20 years old. After her last operation, a regional pain syndrome was quickly diagnosed

Miss du Plessis refused a hip replacement because she was only 20 years old. It was not long after her last operation that she was diagnosed with a regional pain syndrome

Since her leg can not be burdened because of the complaints, she now relies on crutches

Since her leg can not be burdened because of the complaints, she now relies on crutches

Since her leg can not be burdened because of the complaints, she now relies on crutches

Previously, she hoped to move to the UK to pursue her dream of becoming an athlete

Previously, she hoped to move to the UK to pursue her dream of becoming an athlete

Previously, she hoped to move to the UK to pursue her dream of becoming an athlete

After fighting AVN and extreme pain, Miss du Plessis lost control of her toes in a condition called dystonia. Your foot is now permanently in a claw position (picrured)

After fighting AVN and extreme pain, Miss du Plessis lost control of her toes in a condition called dystonia. Your foot is now permanently in a claw position (picrured)

After fighting AVN and extreme pain, Miss du Plessis lost control of her toes in a condition called dystonia. Your foot is now permanently in a claw position (picrured)

WHAT ARE THE THREE CONDITIONS?

Avascular necrosis

Avascular necrosis (AVN) is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply.

It can lead to tiny fractures and eventually collapse.

AVN can cause severe pain when the affected bone is stressed.

Complex regional pain syndrome

A complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a poorly understood condition that occurs when a person experiences severe and debilitating ailments.

Most cases are triggered by an injury, with the resulting pain being much stronger than normal.

Affected areas often swell, are stiff and change color or temperature.

Many cases gradually improve over time, but some never leave.

dystonia

Dystonia is the name of uncontrolled and sometimes painful muscle spasms.

The affected part of the body can turn into an unusual position, such as a curved neck.

Those affected can also experience tremors or uncontrolled blinking.

Miss du Plessis not only lived in constant pain, but also had to give up her favorite sport.

"I loved playing Netball because I could challenge myself every day," she said.

"My life revolved around Netball and I wanted to finish my studies and move to the UK to play professionally for a club."

Miss du Plessis life now consists of regular doctors and doctor visits.

She also takes Parkinson's drugs and strong painkillers.

"If all of this fails, the next step is Botox in the muscles that contract," said Miss du Plessis.

Although it was difficult to endure the torture, Miss du Plessis is determined to stay positive.

"The easiest thing to do in life is negative and makes life as difficult as possible," she said.

Always be grateful for what you have, especially for your health, and celebrate every achievement.

"If you can not control what happens, challenge yourself as you respond to what is happening.

"There are many" What if? "What if I choose another sport? What if I just got off the pitch when my coach told me?

"You can not live life if you get stuck on these questions."

The once-athletic Miss du Plessis (pictured above) takes Parkinson's medication and spends her life running between doctors and physiotherapists who can not predict her. She may need to have Botox injections to keep her muscles from contracting

The once-athletic Miss du Plessis (pictured above) takes Parkinson's medication and spends her life running between doctors and physiotherapists who can not predict her. She may need to have Botox injections to keep her muscles from contracting

The once-sporty Miss du Plessis (pictured above) takes Parkinson's medication and spends her life traveling between physicians and physiotherapists who can not predict her. She may need to have Botox injections to keep her muscles from contracting

Miss du Plessis had compared the discomfort of a complex regional pain syndrome with an "ice bath and then immediately into a hot shower." "I have this pain all day and night," she added

Miss du Plessis had compared the discomfort of a complex regional pain syndrome with an "ice bath and then immediately into a hot shower." "I have this pain all day and night," she added

Miss du Plessis had compared the discomfort of a complex regional pain syndrome with an "ice bath and immediately afterwards a hot shower." "I have that pain all day and all night," she added

The leg of Miss du Plessis is being monitored in the hospital

The leg of Miss du Plessis is being monitored in the hospital

The limb is shown to have turned violet when the blood supply to the hip was interrupted

The limb is shown to have turned violet when the blood supply to the hip was interrupted

Her leg is observed left in the hospital. Right is the limb after it has become purple

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