Brain-op mum hopes for a pain-free future

Jane Woodcock
Jane Woodcock
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A mother suffering from a rare neurological disorder is recovering at home after successful brain surgery to relieve her pain.

Jane Woodcock, 48, of The Gables, Bourne, has idiopathic intracranial hypertension, otherwise known as IIH.

The space around her brain is filled with excess spinal fluid which causes intense pressure inside her skull.

This means Jane regularly suffers from acute migraines. She also has issues with speech, memory and movement.

On Monday last week she underwent surgery to place a shunt, which helps drain the excess fluid, inside her skull.

The operation was a success and on Friday Jane returned home.

Speaking this week, she said: “Everything went well. I am just taking it easy now.

“My head is quite painful at the moment. I was watching a video of a similar operation and it’s not surprising that it hurts.

“But the surgeon is pleased with how it has gone.”

Jane has been receiving treatment at the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery in London since 2007.

Doctors tried using lumber punctures to relieve the pressure on her brain, and installed a shunt into her spine to drain some of the excess fluid.

But the spinal shunt worked too well, so doctors decided to install one in Jane’s skull.

Jane is now getting used to the new shunt. She said: “There are some strange sensations going through my head.

“Every so often I get a feeling like someone has emptied a bowl of water through it.

“I am not too sure what the feeling is as I never had that feeling with the spinal shunt.

“I will be back in clinic in about six to eight weeks. I’ve just got to wait and see how it’s doing.

“But for now it’s just a case of relaxing and recovering.

Jane held a sponsored headshave at Palmers Hair Salon in Abbey Road, Bourne before going into surgery.

She raised £507 for IIH UK, a small charity that helped her deal with the condition.

She said: “My surgeon thanked me for shaving my hair off. He said it made his job a lot easier.

“The people from the charity were really thankful for the donation.”