A WOMAN who suffers from an incurable condition that causes her to dislocate her joints up to 300 times a day has vowed to walk down the aisle on her wedding day.
Wheelchair user Natalie Allan, 23, is thought to be the only person in the UK and just one of 30 people worldwide to suffer from a rare form of Ehlers Danlos syndrome.
The condition commonly known as EDS causes weakness in the collagen fibres that support joints resulting in multiple dislocations.
Law student Natalie experiences anything from 150 to 300 dislocations a day, forcing her to physically pop fingers, toes, ankles, hips, neck or her shoulders back into the joint.
But things took a turn for the better for Natalie when she met Shaun Marshall, 25, online in June last year and the couple got engaged just four months later.
Now brave Natalie, from Edinburgh, has vowed not to let her illness stop her walking down the aisle to wed her hubby-to-be next year. She said: “I’m always in pain and can’t remember a day when I’ve not been taking morphine.
“On a good day I might dislocate up to 150 times and it can be anything from a little finger right up to my wrist, jaw, ankles, shoulders, hips or knees.” Natalie revealed that even something as simple as coughing or sneezing can cause her to dislocate joints, but said “you just have to get on with it”.
And she said that Shaun has been incredibly supportive of her condition.
“I was honest straight away as I needed to know if he could cope with dislocating joints and seizures,” she said.
“And he is really wonderful and very supportive. We started going out and then discussed marriage in October.”
Natalie, who was diagnosed with the incurable condition at age 14, takes more than 25 tablets a day to help minimise her discomfort. Her condition also causes her to have up to 20 severe seizures each day leaving her in agonising pain.
She started using a wheelchair three years ago as her condition worsened and she now has very limited mobility. And while she hopes to be able to brave the pain and walk down the aisle on her wedding day she admitted it could be a difficult battle as her condiotion has continued to deteriorate.
“All I want now is to be able to walk down the aisle to Shaun,” she said. “It will be incredibly painful and I’ll need help from my dad David and brother Peter.
“Shaun is so proud of me for being so determined to reach my goal.
“My condition is getting worse every day and I don’t know what I’ll be like in 12 months. But this is my one dream and I am determined to take those steps down the aisle.
“I love Shaun so much and it would mean so much to be to be able to do it.”
Shaun, from Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, added: “Natalie is like my Humpty Dumpty because I help put her together again.
“I’m so proud of her and she never lets this beat her. She is determined to walk down the aisle and it would mean the world to me.”