Great Blakenham: MS sufferer seeks help for Suffolk Oxygen Therapy Centre

The Suffolk Oxygen Centre in Claydon. Back L-R: Karen Turner, Audrey Sparling, Peter Sims and Christine Chaplin, with Alison Edwards (front). The Suffolk Oxygen Centre in Claydon. Back L-R: Karen Turner, Audrey Sparling, Peter Sims and Christine Chaplin, with Alison Edwards (front).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
12:00 PM

A multiple sclerosis sufferer is seeking support for the charity whose oxygen therapy centre has helped “clear the mental fog” that blighted her life for more than 20 years.

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Karen Turner said she had tried “absolutely everything” to relieve the symptoms of her debilitating condition but only after visiting the Suffolk Oxygen Therapy Centre in Great Blakenham did she notice any real improvement.

“I used to suffer from what we call the MS fog brain,” she said. “I was always lagging, never wanted to do anything and had no energy. Now I know exactly what I want to do, I’m very clear-headed and it’s given me focus – it’s cleared the mental fog.”

Ms Turner, who lives in Sudbury, was diagnosed with MS in 1992 but said she spent the first five years in denial and, like many others, failed to seek the help she needed.

Only after her condition left her needing crutches did she begin to discuss the illness. And it was not until about 18 months ago that she learned of the oxygen therapy centre from a fellow sufferer.

Now, having experienced a “huge improvement” in her quality of life, she is seeking support for the charity and hopes to raise its profile so that others may benefit from its work.

“I know there’s no cure for MS but the oxygen tank has made the biggest difference out of everything I’ve tried and I just hope it can help more people,” she said

Although the therapy is mainly aimed at MS sufferers, Audrey Sparling, senior operator at the centre, says it has also helped patients with autism, leg ulcers and many neurological conditions.

“Oxygen is a great healer, it helps in many ways and gives the whole body something of a boost,” she said.

The centre, which was set up 30 years ago as the first of its kind in the country, has three pressurised tanks where patients spend hour-long sessions breathing pure, hospital-grade oxygen to help their ailments.

Treatments are offered for a suggested donation to the charity, which relies on fundraising to meet the rest of its costs – estimated at around £30,000 a year.

Last year around 1,600 treatments were carried out at the centre – up 40% on 2012 – but it is still operating well below capacity. To find out more email talk@suffolkoxygentherapy.co.uk, call 01473 830359 or visit www.suffolkoxygentherapy.co.uk

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