At 19 years old, Sydney is a bright, beautiful, courageous, strong young woman. Sydney loves animals, and is particularly passionate about horses. Sydney also has Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome caused by bilateral cervical ribs.
Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (NTOS) is a disease whereby the nerves in the brachial plexus (neck) are compressed, resulting in nerve pain. NTOS is not common, occurring in approximately 0.2% of the population. The quality of life for those suffering from NTOS is profoundly diminished.
Sydney has undergone 3 surgeries between 2015 – 2017 on her neck in an attempt to alleviate her pain due to chronic nerve impingement. Despite the gruelling experience of invasive surgeries with complicated recoveries, these surgeries have not gone far enough in lessening the constant pain from NTOS. It became evident that if Sydney’s NTOS was going to be successfully addressed, we needed to turn to a specialist in this uncommon, complex area.
There are no NTOS specialists in Canada. Through extensive research, we have identified a specialist, Dr. Dean Donahue, who operates a Thoracic Outlet Syndrome clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. This is one of the few TOS specialty clinics in the world. As this clinic is located in the United States, there is no medical coverage available, placing this surgery prohibitively out of reach financially. However, a solution is in sight. Sydney is maintaining hope. She accepts that more surgery is required. She is courageous, and she has more strength than we can imagine. Sydney's surgery is scheduled for May 22, 2019. The only barrier now is cost.