Unlike countless celebrities, Karen Dunne did not use Botox to keep herself young- but to keep herself feeling alive.
Now, thanks to help from Headway and 315 gym, Karen from Caton is off the injections - hopefully for good.
After suffering a brain hemorrhage four years ago, Karen couldn’t walk, move her right arm or speak.
She can now speak and has progressed a lot with help from the acquired brain injury team in Blackpool.
Although her right arm and hand is still paralysed Karen, 52, has been told she doesn’t need to take her medication.
Working out at 3-1-5 gym in Lancaster has also helped Karen build up enough muscle strength to overcome the immense pain she suffers on a daily basis.
Mrs Dunne said: “I have not been having the same muscle tone issues and when I got to hospital a few weeks ago they examined my arm and said they felt that I should try without the Botox for three months to see how I go, and it has been put down to the work here at 3-1-5.”
Karen was in hospital for eight weeks at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the team taught her to walk with a leg brace and stick.
Headway Lancaster and Morecambe Bay has supported Karen through a few difficult months. She has been worried about the long term effects of Botox on her body.
Mrs Dunne said: “It’s a horrendously poisonous substance, why anybody would want to go and put it in the face I don’t know. It’s just wonderful to think that I’m going to be able to manage the pain by coming here to the gym.”
Karen counts herself lucky to have such huge support and her thanks go to Headway, 3-1-5 gym and the ABI (acquired brain injury) team.
She said: “There are a few of us in Headway who are looked after by the brain injury team.
“The difference in my recovery to perhaps someone who doesn’t pass the criteria is immense. To get over a head injury you have to have a lot of determination and lot of support.”