Emily Hewatt sat outside for just half an hour during summer – and she contracted heat stroke.
Strong winds, loud sounds, even showers – they all cause her excruciating pain.
This is a day in the life of the young Corryong woman, and thousands of other Australians, who suffer from complex regional pain syndrome.
It’s a rare condition that has no cure – one that the average person and the medical community alike struggles to comprehend.
For Emily, and many other sufferers, it all began when she broke her hand in 2012, after the pain never subsided.
“I went to get it checked out, I had hardly any pain, I hadn’t had any panadol whatsoever, and when I woke up after surgery, I was in absolute agony,” she said.
“The swelling continued and it never got any better, four months later I was diagnosed by my GP.
“I came home and googled it and just panicked.
“I read it could spread through your body for no reason, and there was no real treatment.”
Everything went downhill for Emily when the CRPS spread.
“I fell on my hand again, so it spread into my left shoulder and, about 12 months after my initial break, I slipped and fell onto my knee and it spread into my left leg,” she said.
“It was only a matter of weeks before I had to use a wheelchair.
“For about the last two and a bit years, I’ve been basically house-bound, I can’t go anywhere by myself.
“The pain is every type you could imagine – the pain I have all the time is a burning kind of feeling, but then you can get an electric shock pain and stabbing.
“You feel like you’re going to explode, or like your bones are splitting in two.”
“The drugs are just slowly killing people, I wasn’t losing her to the disorder, I was losing her to the drugs,” she said.
“We’ve tried everything that’s available in Australia.”
Alison said their last hope remained in a non-evasive treatment, called calmare therapy, unavailable in Australia.
The Hewatts are raising $80,000 to get to America for the treatment.
They have joined CRPS charity The Purple Bucket Foundation to fight to get Calmare to Australia.
“We’re planning to go in May, the reason for that is, one, she can deal with the weather then, and two, its Em’s birthday,” she said.
“We couldn’t think of a better present than getting her life back.”
For more information, or to donate, visit www.lasthopeforalife.com.au.