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TEEN'S BRAIN SHOCK AFTER RUGBY K.O. Scan reveals Lucy, 18, has rare condition.

Byline: reporters@dailyrecord.co.uk jackie grant

A TEENAGE girl found out she had a rare brain condition after being knocked out during a rugby match.

Doctors told 19-year-old Lucy McClymont she was born with Chiari malformation after finding it by chance while carrying out an MRI scan.

They discovered the life-changing condition after the student spent hours in hospital having an operation to relieve pressure on her brain.

When she woke up, medics delivered the devastating news which means she can no longer play her beloved rugby.

Lucy, of Dumfries, said: "I'm still trying to take in what I've been told and I don't know where we go from here.

"From the outside I look fine but my life has changed beyond recognition and it's depressing to realise it will never be the same again.

"I want to raise awareness of my condition and the risks that sport has on people's lives.

"Sport was my greatest passion and it's hard trying to cope with life without doing what I love most."

Lucy took up rugby at Harper University in Shropshire, where she has been studying for a food and consumer studies degree. But during the game for her uni back in January, she was seriously injured in a tackle.

Her worried parents Hugh and Christine rushed to her hospital bedside and after surgery and a series of tests, Lucy was allowed home weeks later. Lucy said: "We were told I might have been born with a mild case of the condition but if I hadn't had the accident, we'd never have known."

Chiari malformation isn't life-threatening but means the lower parts of the brain have been pushed downwards towards the spine. It can cause headaches, hearing loss and problems swallowing.

Lucy added: "I've not been allowed to do much, I'm still recovering from the operation. I can't believe how much my life has changed just because I was doing something I loved.

"It could happen to anyone playing a contact sport and to hear there's something wrong with your brain is frightening.

"I'd love to get back to university but I've missed so much work it might not be possible."

CAPTION(S):

ORDEAL Lucy's smile hides anguish over diagnosis that has turned her life upside down

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 6, 2015
Words:377
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