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Sunday, August 28, 2016

'My MS the diagnosis came as a relief... finally everything made sense’


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written by: Joy Orpen

Even though she lives with a difficult medical condition, Kelly Donnelly leads a rewarding life. Nonetheless, she tells our reporter, that supports are needed to help others with similar conditions to remain as productive as possible

Given that the majority of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in Ireland are of working age, it makes sense that every effort should be made to help them live independently. Otherwise, their quality of life will be further eroded, while they may become an expensive financial burden on the State.

Kelly Donnelly leads a rewarding life, despite her MS. Photo: Dave Conachy
Kelly Donnelly leads a rewarding life, despite her MS. Photo: Dave Conachy

Someone who knows this only too well is Kelly Donnelly (34), who grew up in the UK and who now lives in Ireland. As a youngster, she used to get so many aches and pains, some people thought she was a hypochondriac. Then, when she was 16, she experienced numbness on one side of her body. She was referred to a neurologist, who suspected something serious was amiss. "He wanted to do more tests," says Kelly. "But at the time I was highly stressed, doing my GCSEs, and so I became more scared of what those tests would reveal than the symptoms themselves."
A year later, Kelly started seeing double. She was referred to an eye hospital, but no obvious cause was found. "They asked me what drugs I was on," says Kelly, still bristling from the unfair assumption. "I'd had weird symptoms all my life," she says. "For years I knew something wasn't right, but I also wondered if I was imagining it."
After school, Kelly did sound engineering at the London School of Music and Media Studies, and from there she "drifted" into the world of information technology (IT). "I asked myself, 'What do I love best?'" Kelly explains. "And the answer to that was Apple - I love their products. So I went to work for them, and stayed there for five years and had a great time." In 2009, Kelly again developed eye problems while holidaying in Malta. She returned to the same hospital, where again no obvious cause could be found.

Continue reading Kelly's story

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