Vicky's lighting Blackpool Tower purple to raise awareness of illness PoTS

Vicky Nash needs to be hooked up to a drip throughout the week
Vicky Nash needs to be hooked up to a drip throughout the week

A woman whose illness causes her to be hooked up to a drip for days on end is turning Blackpool Tower purple for one day next month.

Vicky Nash, 32, of Fleetwood, suffers from a number of debilitating and long-term health problems, including a condition called PoTS - postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.

Vicky Nash is now a trustee of the charity PoTS UK

Vicky Nash is now a trustee of the charity PoTS UK

PoTS is a debilitating and long-term condition causing fainting, headaches, nausea and palpitations when sufferers move from the lying down to standing position and is one of the illnesses associated with the wider condition dysautonomia, which effects things like heart-rate and digestion.

To compound these problems, Vicky also suffers from another condition, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome , and consequently has trouble swallowing and requires a drip feed to ensure she gets sufficient nutrition.

Although her condition has now stabilised because of the regular drip arrangement, the slightest of exertions can still cause her heart rate to shoot up to 140 to 150 beats per minute (bpm) when the average rate is between 60 and 80 bpm.

PoTS is still a relatively little known disorder but Vicky wants to try and help others with the condition by raising awareness of it.

And as part of PoTS Awareness Day on Friday October 25, Vicky has arranged for Blackpool Tower to be lit up in the purple colour of charity PoTS UK, an organisation which provides medical advice from dedicated health professionals and all manner of other support.

She has also requested that the dome of Fleetwood's Marine Hall be lit up purple on the day as well.

Vicky, who lives on Quayside with her supportive partner, Dave Robinson , said: "It took me years to get diagnosed with my conditions and by making people aware of PoTS will it hopefully help patients and those who still haven't been diagnosed.

“I was able to change doctors about about five years ago and my GP now is great, she has saved my life really.

"I’ve got a great medical team who help me but if someone else wasn't lucky enough to get a doctor who will listen and not just put it down to mental health, it would be a lot harder.

" Now I would tell anyone who has these sort of problems to be firm, get a second opinion, don’t take no for an answer."

Many people with PoTS can lead a relatively normal life, once their condition is diagnosed and properly regulated, but Vicky's situation is compounded by her other ailments, including a low body weight of just six and a half stone, which makes the rapid heart beat more serious.

She said: "It isn't possible for me to lead a normal life because I need a drip to get the nutrients to keep me alive, and the complications with my heart make the palpatations more dangerous.

"Being stuck at home on a drip and having trouble eating is boring and it would be very easy to get depressed."

What has helped her is the online support group she has set up, where she can chat with fellow patients, and her online involvement with the charity PoTS UK.

Vicky, who previously ran various businesses in Fleetwood before she fell ill in 2014, is now a trustee of the PoTS UK and is involved in promoting the charity's range of merchandise online.

She added: "Being involved in the charity is brilliant, it has been a real lifeline for me and I wanted to give something back to them for the support they have given me.

"We also get contacted by people with PoTS who tell us how much the charity has helped them, and that's makes it so worthwhile."

For more details on the work of the charity, visit: www.potsuk.org.

For further information about PoTS Awareness Day activities, Vicky can be contacted on vicky@potsuk.org