News, Culture & Society

Plymouth mother given a diagnosis after 13 years

A mother-of-one has finally been given a diagnosis after a mystery illness blighted her life for 13 years – but treatment caused her hair to fall out.

Jaks Cotten, 28, from Plymouth, has suffered breathing difficulties, bouts of pneumonia, flu, anxiety, depression, aches, and fatigue. It has cost her nine jobs.

Now she knows she suffers from severe refractory eosinophilic asthma – which cannot be controlled by inhalers, and an inflammatory lung disease.

The trauma and powerful steroids she was given upon her diagnosis caused her thick blonde hair to fall out in chunks. It continued when she was discharged.

She was thrust into a ‘spiral of sadness’ when she realised her hair wasn’t growing back – placing even more strain on her mental health. 

But desperate to ‘make the most’ of her situation, she recently made the brave decision to shave it off for good at a local salon for charity.

Jaks Cotten, 28, recently made the brave decision to shave her hair off for good at a local salon for charity after treatment caused her locks to fall out

She has suffered breathing difficulties, bouts of pneumonia, flu, anxiety, depression, aches, and fatigue over the past 13 years. It has also cost her nine jobs

She has suffered breathing difficulties, bouts of pneumonia, flu, anxiety, depression, aches, and fatigue over the past 13 years. It has also cost her nine jobs

Mrs Cotten was given the diagnosis after being admitted to hospital recently with a collapsed lung. A bronchoscopy revealed she had both conditions.

When her hair began to fall out 

She said: ‘While I was in due to the stress of everything and the high dose of steroids I was on my hair began to fall out.

‘I had lovely thick blonde hair, it was quite long and wavey. It got worse and worse after I was discharged.

‘So the beautiful ladies at GG’s hair salon took it down to a grade two for me and I was hoping it would grow back.’

Now knows she suffers from severe refractory eosinophilic asthma - which cannot be controlled by inhalers, and inflammatory lung disease

Now knows she suffers from severe refractory eosinophilic asthma – which cannot be controlled by inhalers, and inflammatory lung disease

The trauma and powerful steroids she was given upon her diagnosis caused her thick blonde hair began to fall out in chunks. It continued when she was discharged

The trauma and powerful steroids she was given upon her diagnosis caused her thick blonde hair began to fall out in chunks. It continued when she was discharged

WHAT ARE HER CONDITIONS? 

Inflammatory lung disease

This is the umbrella term for several chronic conditions which affect the lungs, including asthma, COPD and pulmonary fibrosis. 

Refractory eosinophilic asthma

This severe form of asthma cannot be controlled by inhalers, according to medical literature.

Figures aren’t precise on how many sufferers exist, but around one in 10 asthma cases are deemed severe. 

It is commonly seen in people who develop asthma in adulthood, according to the American Partnership For Eosinophilic Disorder.

She added: ‘I started to lose more hair and spiral into sadness. But I thought stuff it, I’m going to make the most of this.

‘So I contacted family and friends and previous employers and said I was going to shave it completely bald for charity.’

The strain it has placed on her life 

But Mrs Cotten, who has quit all of her jobs in the past three years, quickly became ill again and she decided to give up her ninth out of poor health.

She said that whenever she gave up one job, she immediately sought another as she hated the feeling of being unemployed.

Her husband, who hasn’t been named, also suffered a seizure – which meant he also had to give up his job. He lost both of his driving licence and car as a result. 

Soon to begin a drug trial 

Mrs Cotten, mother to Eli, seven, is about to start a trial drug to assist with her asthma because at the moment her body is resisting treatment. 

She will stay under different specialists whilst they investigate her inflammatory lung disease and will have to attend hospital four times a week. 

Mrs Cotten’s selfless act raised money for the MIND charity and Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital – where she was treated. 

She said: 'While I was in due to the stress of everything and the high dose of steroids I was on my hair began to fall out'

She said: ‘While I was in due to the stress of everything and the high dose of steroids I was on my hair began to fall out’

Mrs Cotten was given the diagnosis after being admitted to hospital recently with a collapsed lung. A bronchoscopy revealed she had both conditions

Mrs Cotten was given the diagnosis after being admitted to hospital recently with a collapsed lung. A bronchoscopy revealed she had both conditions

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk