Woman tries to kill herself after learning devastating reason for her migraines

A woman with a rare brain condition tried to take her own life to escape the excruciating pain it causes her.

Amy Taylor Swift, 32, from Barking, London, had been suffering with severe migraines for more than 20 years, but it wasn’t until five years ago that she was told the reason behind them.

She was diagnosed with Arnold-Chiari malformation, where the brain pushes down at the bottom of the spinal chord.

Her illness renders her bed-bound for several weeks at a time and even too weak to get to the toilet on her own.

She told Essex Live that her headaches are due to a build-up of pressure inside her skull.

She said: "Last year I did end up attempting suicide and I didn’t feel there was any way living with this state.

"I was so low for a few days – I felt I was on the outside."

Her symptoms include severe headaches, vomiting, blurred vision and dizziness.

She said: I have been in hospital for the headaches, they get really severe, too much that I can’t tell you how bad.

"I mean so bad that I could feel like it could explode.

"I also feel like I can feel my skull and brain moving and I know it is pressure inside.

"They used to test me for meningitis as the spinal fluid was moving fast and it can pass viruses along but it isn’t that."

Amy added: "I was diagnosed a few years ago and I can’t believe the difference it has made.

"One month I can feel more alone than other times, I can’t even walk and my friend has to shower me and take me to the toilet, which is humiliating."

Amy says her condition has baffled some of the medical staff who have treated her and that some have never even heard of it.

"It’s so rare," she explained. "They will send me for a CT scan to check for dangerous aneurysm."

Amy, who is not able to work due to her condition, wants it to be taken seriously.

She continued: "I have suffered with migraines for 20 years but these are not normal headaches or migraines.

"Even as a baby I used to rub my head a lot as multiple people have told me about it.

"They don’t know how to treat me. I’m on pain medication and I was on morphine but I ended up coming off of it as the side effects were not good, as I would rather take something when I need it rather than wean myself off it everyday. It’s masking the problem."

In a bid to offer support and advice to others, Amy has set up a Facebook group for people diagnosed with the condition.

She said: "I started the support group for people to get help and support with what they’re going through,people will post that they’ve been sent home from A&E again or they’re feeling unwell again.

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"It is because of the illness that people are finding it difficult; I don’t mind the extra work of the support group as people are coming forward for support."

Amy plans to take her frustration to the Prime Minister by collecting letters from others who suffer with the pain of living with Chiari malformation.

She has already had hundreds of responses from supporters and will march to No. 10 herself, even if she is ill, to make the government listen to those who live with the condition day in and day out.

Amy added: "I wanted to change it to something positive, there is so much to learn and no one knows about it. I want to help people as much as I can, more and more people are being diagnosed with it."

A spokesman for NHS England, London, said: "The NHS funds a number of treatments, including surgery, for people with chiari malformations which are usually provided in specialist centres due to the rarity and complexity of the condition.

"Patients should discuss treatment options with their clinician who can seek advice from, and refer patients to, specialist centres where necessary.

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