News

Help is close to home

SUPPORT GROUP: Andrea Ward, Lisa Sheehan and Karen Ford - all have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Photo: Adam Hourigan
SUPPORT GROUP: Andrea Ward, Lisa Sheehan and Karen Ford - all have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Photo: Adam Hourigan

WHEN Lisa Sheehan first noticed the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, she put them down to the rigours of her night work as a community carer. By the time she was diagnosed, aged 45, she was in the third stage of her illness.

"I had a tingling sensation in my left leg. I would run to the buzzer in the nursing home and when I was coming back to the nurses station I would see skid marks from my shoes where my toe was dragging as I ran - even though I had no sensation of my foot dragging, I had gotten so used to it," Mrs Sheehan said.

"Most women get diagnosed when they are much younger and can start treatment at the first stage. Most treatments are only for that stage of MS."

The first treatments Mrs Sheehan tried were unsuccessful, leading her MS community nurse Helen Sikkens to recommend the new kid on the block: an oral tablet called fingolimod, which had shown promise in trials.

Thanks to the co-ordinated efforts of Ms Sikkens and the Grafton Base Hospital, this new treatment is now available to Mrs Sheehan in her home town. The service is likely to benefit others in the community who would otherwise have to travel to Coffs Harbour or Newcastle.

"I probably know of about five more (MS patients in the area) who will progress to that treatment in the next 12 months," said Ms Sikkens.

To admit Mrs Sheehan, the staff in the hospital's day surgery had to get training in the drug's effects and its needs post-treatment, including observation.

It opens up new options for patients in the catchment area to have the treatment here rather than them having to travel. Mrs Sheehan said: "If Grafton couldn't have provided it for me I would have had to have gone back up to the Gold Coast to the neurologist's offices or to the Gold Coast Hospital and take the tablet and come home - it was a six hour trip to take a tablet. Seeing as I don't have a healthcare card it becomes expensive. My husband would have had to take another day off work to take me."

Topics:  health medical ms nurse treatment



Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

A CITY drenched in culture, Brisbane is again flaunting an arts and culture events calendar fit for a queen.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

The pecan harvest is just beginning, so you will find a good selection at the markets from now. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Pecans and cauliflowers among the new buys, as well as a great tea

Careers Australia fails: 15,000 students, 1000 staff gone

Group's 1000 staff sent an email that they had been stood down

Local Partners

Charity has grand plans to help people help themselves

A charity that helps homeless and needy has opened a new shop in a bid to raise money to fund a venture that will feed and skill the very people it supports.


What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Gig guide: Get the blues in Broadbeach

Russell Morris will perform at The Star Gold Coast as part of Blues on Broadbeach on Friday, May 19

Festival fun and top shelf gigs

Tweed's weekend gig guide

Wally and the Gators play Club Banora on Saturday night

What's on in the Tweed

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

No room for morbid fans

Chris Cornell.

Fans want to stay in the hotel room where Chris Cornell died

Star Wars' 1977 Stormtrooper head banger confesses

A Stormtrooper is responsible for the biggest blunder in a Star Wars movie. Picture: Supplied

Man in most famous blooper in Star Wars history breaks silence

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!