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Op-hope Ross-shire woman living in constant pain grateful for donations to 'race against time' crowdfunder as benefactor provides major boost

By Hector MacKenzie

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Brellin Ross believes she faces a race against time for an operation she has now booked. Picture: Callum Mackay
Brellin Ross believes she faces a race against time for an operation she has now booked. Picture: Callum Mackay

A ROSS-SHIRE woman who turned to crowdfunding in a bid to secure the specialist surgery she hopes will relieve the agonising pain she lives with daily has been given a massive boost by a benefactor.

Brellin Ross (54) is convinced a rare spinal nerve condition is to blame for leaving her in constant agony with the little-known Tarlov Cyst Disease.

Describing herself as “a virtual prisoner” in her own home, the married mum, who runs the Bikers B&B on Leanaig Road in Conon Bridge with joiner husband Wayne, first succumbed to progressively worsening symptoms three years ago. Walking and standing are painful and sitting is like "sitting on a jagged rock".

She says her self-diagnosis, with scans obtained privately in Aberdeen, has been backed up by one of the world’s leading experts in the field.

Friends and strangers alike have rallied to her bid to raise £50,000 to fund a treatment which is not available on the NHS.

A £10,000 donation from Adam Dart, the young creative director and co-founder of Junkfish Ltd, a Dundee-based games developer in the interactive entertainment industry, has brought her running total to over £22,000 – enough to pay the deposit on an operation she hopes to get at the end of August.

Mrs Ross said: "I'm just so grateful and moved by everyone who has come to my help and donated. I can't thank everyone enough for every single pound raised.

"The response has been fantastic and beyond what I could ever have imagined.

"Having not spoken to anyone but my closest, for long enough, about what I have been going through, it has actually made me feel better than I have in months to have shared it with others.

"It is also the first time in a long time I have felt that, maybe, I can get better now.

"I need to continue to raise funds towards the cost of the operation, but I am now able to pay the deposit and I've decided now to go ahead and book the operation for August 31, with over £22,000 now raised."

Mr Dart, a graduate of Abertay University, posted on her page: "Hoping you reach your goal in time and that the surgery goes well. All the best."

It's understood a relative of Mrs Ross works for the company.

His message of support is amongst many from well-wishers.

Carole Macleay posted: "I know what it is like to live with pain on a daily basis so my heart goes out to you. Wishing you a successful outcome x"

Sue Macleod stated: "Good luck Brellin, really hope that you reach your target. Your daily life at the moment sounds awful!! Hopefully this will soon be a thing of the past! Take care."

A spokesman for the NHS in Scotland confirmed treatment for the condition currently not available in Scotland.

Her fundraising appeal page can be found at https://tinyurl.com/vt8r5w8n

Related: Ross-shire woman in agony over condition appeal for operation help

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