A woman says life is a ‘race against time’ after being diagnosed with a rare condition causing her brain to slip down her spine.
Jade Davis, 23, has been told she could die any day as despite having two surgeries to try and support her brain, there is no further treatment available. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Chiari Malformation – which causes the lower part of the brain to push down on the hole in the base of the skull which the spinal cord passes through – in March 2017.
The condition has progressed over the last two years, leaving Jade suffering daily seizures and tremors in both her arms as well as losing her sight up to 100 times per day. The former horse rider has since written a bucket list and said it’s a ‘race against time’ to complete it before she succumbs to the ‘ticking time bomb’ condition. Jade, from Saltash, Cornwall, said: ‘Since my diagnosis when I was 21, it’s gotten ten times worse. ‘I had surgery to remove part of my skull and widen the hole in which the spinal cord enters through, but it made my symptoms worse and now I have seizures.
'There’s no time scale on how long I’ll live with the condition, which is the scariest thing about it all.’ Jade has since had to give up her job as a horse riding teacher for disabled children, and can’t be left on her own. She also had to give up her passion for horse riding and sell her horse, Sky, who was her ‘best friend’, as she’s no longer able to ride. She added: ‘I can’t do things a normal 23-year old should be able to do. ‘On my bad days I can’t wash myself, dress myself or even feed myself, I have to be watched when I do anything, can’t ride horses which is what I’ve always done. ‘I’m just in pain 24/7 with my neck and need constant care.’
Jade was diagnosed in 2017 after she was rushed to hospital with meningitis. Doctors performed an MRI scan and discovered the swelling that had formed around her brain was actually due to Type 1 Chiari Malformation. Jade said: ‘I was a completely normal girl before my diagnosis.
‘I woke up one morning with a severe headache, I felt like I couldn’t move, everything hurt.’ Following her deteriorating condition, Jade has created a bucket list of things she’d like to do, including visiting Thailand, jumping out of an aeroplane, going to an Olympic horse show, and meeting Love Island’s Chris Hughes.
Her family also want to raise £2,000 to go towards completing the challenges. She added: ‘I’d been thinking about doing a bucket list funding page for a while, but I don’t really like to ask people for things. ‘My mum and I are part of online groups with people who have the same condition as me, and we read a couple of them had died. ‘With that in mind, my mum set up the go fund me page because we both decided we don’t have time to waste and I want to try live my life to the fullest.’