Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) is a rare but serious condition that occurs when the bundle of nerves at the base of the spinal cord, known as the cauda equina, gets compressed.
CES causes severe back pain to the affected patient, which can cause mild numbness to severe paralysis in the lower part of the body, including the bowel, genitals, and bladder.
While it’s not a well-known condition, it can be life-changing for those who suffer from it.
The condition can affect anyone, regardless of fame or fortune. Here are some celebrities with Cauda Equina Syndrome:
1. Nicholas Brendon
Brendon is an American actor and writer. In early 2021, Brendon slipped and fell, which resulted in consistent back pains that forced him to take a break from his acting career.
Brendon suffered paralysis in his legs and genitals after the accident ruptured one of the discs in his spine.
He underwent surgery to correct his spine, which was quite a success.
In August 2021, Brendon was arrested and taken to a cell where he had to sleep on the floor, which aggravated his injury, and paralysis started to re-appear.
He underwent another surgery to help with his condition and was able to make a recovery.
2. Storm Keating
Keating is a TV director, producer, brand ambassador, and wife of the Irish singer-songwriter, Ronan Keating.
She was diagnosed with Cauda Equina at the beginning of 2021.
While undergoing an emergency surgery, she had to fix a prolapsed disc in her spine.
The prognosis scared her because she was convinced she would never lead a normal life.
But under the care of Dr. Aftab at the health facility, she was able to look forward to a brighter future.
Now, she supports The Cauda Equina Champions Charity to raise awareness of CES and educate people on what to look out for.
3. Duncan James
James is an actor, theatre star, and a former member of the British boy band Blue.
James was diagnosed with Cauda Equina Syndrome in 2016 after experiencing severe back pain and numbness in his legs.
He was rushed into emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on his spinal nerves.
In 2021, he shared his worries and fears that his condition might be returning after experiencing some back pains.
He has made several trips to the hospital to ensure CES red flags are caught early.
He was the first celebrity to be appointed ambassador for Cauda Equina Champions Charity.
4. Claire Thornber
Thornber is a writer and the founder of The Cauda Equina Champions Charity.
She was diagnosed with CES in September 2010 after she suffered a back injury when turning in bed.
Before the diagnosis, doctors dismissed her condition as a mere bad back.
She researched her symptoms and realized they were familiar to those of CES, which moved her to keep seeking professional help.
After a successful surgery and recovery, Thornber started a support group, which eventually grew into her own charity, Cauda Equina Champions Charity.
5. Jennie Sharpe
Sharpe is an award-winning international and Paralympic horse rider and jumper.
She underwent an emergency spinal emergency to help with Cauda Equina Syndrome.
Sharpe was informed that she would never be able to use her legs again, let alone riding.
Despite the procedure being a success, CES took a toll on her mental health that, at times, she wouldn’t get out of bed.
Sharpe has since resumed her career and actively raises awareness on CES.
6. Pete Watts
Watts formerly served as a Royal Engineer of the Army in Bosnia.
After leaving the army, he began mountain biking for fun.
One day, Watts felt a sharp pain at the bottom of his spine. The pain became more severe as time went by and he decided to seek medical help.
In January 2022, Watts was diagnosed with CES and underwent emergency surgery.
After the disc herniation was fixed, he could stand on his two feet.
However, after returning home from the hospital, Watts experienced severe nerve damage in his legs.
Now, Watts manages his condition by using a walking stick.
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