Recovering doctor sees the light

Pamela Dunn Picture: Martin Kennealey d442344
Pamela Dunn Picture: Martin Kennealey d442344

After returning home from a workshop in Sydney, she felt something was not right.

�I thought I was just tired or a bit jet-lagged perhaps, thinking I had caught a very bad flu but I came to realise that it was much worse than that,� she said.

Dr Dunn was diagnosed with a severe case of the autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) � a rapid-onset muscle weakness because of damage to the peripheral nervous system � that was complicated by respiratory failure, pneumonia and paralysis from the neck down.

�I was physically unable to do anything on my own including talking; all I could do was blink and think,� she said.

She spent two months on life support in intensive care at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital before being transferred to the neurological ward where she had to re-learn how to eat and drink and start rehabilitating her muscles.

�As the nerves were slowly coming back, I was left with two frozen shoulders and contracted hands and feet that were numb and painful for a long time,� she said.

�One millimetre at a time was the rate of recovery that was referred to with GBS.

�Each nerve had to be restored in order to recover and supply the muscles that were non-functional since the diagnosis in August 2013 � one millimetre at a time.�

In October 2013, she was transferred to Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital where she spent three weeks before being allowed to return home in a wheelchair where her treatment continued.

By Christmas she was able to walk without the wheelchair in ankle support splints.

�During the course of my long, challenging, arduous road to recovery, I researched and utilised any natural therapy I could get access to,� Dr Dunn said.

�One I found that treated the myriad conditions I was faced with on my recovery from GBS was photomedicine, or laser light therapy.

�I can honestly say now that I am actually grateful for the experience of GBS and what I have learned from it.

�I have been inspired to read, research and learn as much as I could on this very exciting technology therapy.

�As a continually recovering patient of GBS, I contemplated what I would do with my life when I regained the majority of my strength.�

Dr Dunn�s experience with laser light therapy inspired her to open Perth Photo-Medical Centre in Hillarys where the technology is used to provide pain-free treatments for a range of common medical conditions.

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