Rachel runs Stirling 5K pain free!


Rachel runs Stirling 5K pain free!

Completing the Great Stirling 5K pain free, was the first milestone step on a new life journey for Forth Valley College Learner Development Worker Rachel Heaney.

Nearly a decade of chronic pain - which resulted from complications during surgery to remove her appendix, and led to problems with her abdomen and bowel – left her struggling to walk and also exacerbated her ME symptoms.

Now after a relieving minor surgery, she has put her pain nightmare – which resulted in her having to stay off work for six months from October 2015 to April 2016 – behind her and celebrated her new pain free life by running the Stirling 5K on Sunday 21 May.

“I could hardly walk at one point and was on the highest dosage of morphine I could be on without being in the hospital,” said Rachel.

“I would like to thank my colleagues, my line manager and the college for all their support during the bad times. They have been brilliant.”

Brave Rachel also managed to turn the negative experience she went through into a positive one and became an inspiration to others going through a similar situation, by becoming a Volunteer Patient Representative for Forth Valley Royal Infirmary Pain Committee.

And she has some advice to anyone going through chronic pain, “Definitely speak with your GP and take advantage of any other services they would recommend. Luckily for me my physio was a chronic pain specialist and that led to my problem eventually getting sorted out.

“It was definitely enjoyable to be part of providing feedback of my experience and what I would recommend for others in chronic pain. I would say to them that there can be light at the end of the tunnel.

“Running the Stirling 5K was important for me to do as it is the beginning of me getting back to a normal life. It is just the beginning and I have now got my eye on a number of other events I want to take part in!”

Kim Reid, Core and Essential Skills Coordinator, said:

“The difference in Rachel from before the operation is phenomenal.  She has such a positive outlook on life and is making up for the lost years.  Her latest achievement with the 5K race is very inspiring.  I may even join her on her next one!”


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