Somerset: Boy ‘burns from the inside’ after ‘suicide’ diagnosis

Alfie Walton only has one working limb (Photo: Hannah Walton/BPM MEDIA)” />

Alfie Walton only has one working limb (Image: Hannah Walton/BPM MEDIA)

The family of a young teenager suffering from a “suicidal illness” turns to the public for help to raise enough money for a “magic” machine.

Alfie Walton, 15, saw the pain of a sprained ankle tear through his body, leading to a diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CPRS).

The rare and poorly understood condition causes a person to experience unrelenting pain – even a bump or touching bed sheets can be seriously painful, says the NHS.

Because of the higher rates of suicidal ideation in patients, it’s often referred to as “suicidal sickness,” experts say.

And pain is all Alfie has known since April 2019 after spraining his ankle while cross-country running in Taunton, Somerset.

The ankle pain in his right leg soon spread to his left leg before reaching his stomach, resulting in him being tube fed.

He lost the use of his right arm last year and his left arm is his only working limb.


His family is raising money to fly Alfie to the US for ‘magical’ treatment (Image: Hannah Walton/BPM MEDIA)

Alfie is now struggling to “do all the normal things that his peers are able to do” and his dreams of becoming a vet are feeling dashed, says mum Hannah.

She said: “Now it’s very difficult for him to see what his future will be like. All he can think about right now is the pain and he’s completely taking over.”

His sprained ankle was only expected to take eight weeks to heal, Hannah said, but doctors revised their estimate to 10 and then 12 weeks as the injury worsened.

“It started swelling and changing color randomly, and he got burning red spots on it,” Hannah said.

“We realized earlier how life-changing it was because it spread to both legs, and after his first hospitalization he came home in a wheelchair because before that I had to carry him everywhere,” she added.

“The pain is a stabbing, burning pain. So he feels like he’s burning from the inside out.”

But Hannah has found a shot in the dark for her son: a “magic wand” from a machine that can ease Alfie’s endless pain.

The device called VECTTOR works almost like acupuncture. Instead of needles, the machine uses electricity to stimulate nerves to produce certain chemicals called neuropeptides that effectively reset the nervous system.

A fellow mother of a child living with CRPS shared her experience with the machine, which was developed by US-based Dr. Donald Rhodes was developed in a Facebook group with

“It sounds like a magic wand,” Hannah said.

The mother has with Dr. Rhodes and is hoping to raise £10,000 on GoFundMe to visit him in Texas next year for Alfie treatment.

“Whether he can walk again remains to be seen, but being free of the debilitating pain will give him so much quality of life back,” Hannah said on the page.

“I cannot put into words what this will mean for us and we are so grateful in advance for any donations or just for sharing this page and raising awareness about this terrible disease.”

To date, health professionals have no idea why the trauma of an injury can lead to CRPS.

All they know is that when the body reacts in an abnormal way to an injury, everything from the skin of the body to the brain and spinal cord slowly changes.

The Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Association, an American support group, says of CRPS: “If hell were a medical condition, this is what it would look like [CRPS].’

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Justin Scacco

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