Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Mackay Woman Recovering From Rare Disorder In NZ

A Mackay woman was only a couple of days into a holiday in New Zealand when she started to feel an unusual pain in her legs and numbness in her feet and hands.

Teagan Froneman was in Queenstown about a month ago, celebrating her 30th birthday with her husband and mother, when the pain hit.

The sensations gradually progressed into weakness until Teagan was at the point where “basically she was almost paralytic”.

She was rushed to Dunedin Hospital where she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder in which your body's immune system attacks the nerves.

“The immune system basically goes into overdrive and starts to attack the peripheral nerves,” said former colleague and close friend Pier Tierney.

“There’s different causes and they’re not 100% what’s triggered hers but it’s pretty rare.

“She couldn’t move her arms, legs, and gradually she couldn’t swallow, had difficulty with vision, and they eventually had to intubate and put her into an induced coma for a few days because the swallowing became such a concern.”

Teagan was extubated about two weeks ago and has slight movement in her knees and arms, but not much strength.

She still has issues with swallowing and faces months of rehabilitation.

“It’s still a long road to recovery,” said Ms Tierney.

With the costs associated with transferring Teagan back to Mackay Base Hospital too expensive, she and her family are forced to wait until she is well enough to fly back on a commercial flight.

“The big issue is that her pain levels are just astronomically high at the moment,” said Ms Tierney.

This has left them essentially stuck in New Zealand for the last month.

Back home, Teagan’s friends are rallying behind her, looking after their home and dogs, Paddy and Olive, and raising funds to help with costs of living while overseas, preparations for flight costs and transfers and financial support upon their return.

Teagan’s former workplace, Peak Family Chiropractic, are holding Teagan Day today, Friday March 17, bringing all of Teagan’s favourite things together to raise funds.

Cupcakes will be available for sale as well as coffee thanks to Primal Coffee Roasters and plenty of fun activities.

“Just a few things like that that we know Teags would love,” said Ms Tierney.

“All the people who know her, all the patients who come through these doors, are already lining up for it.

“It’s really great support for her.”

Those who can’t make Teagan Day can donate to her cause at, and Ms Tierney said messages of support are always welcome.

“Any well wishes, she’s so grateful for that,” she said.

“I know how strong that girl is, and I know how determined she’s going to be to get better.”

Teagan Froneman was celebrating her 30th birthday in New Zealand when she was struck with pain

Teagan is recovering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome at Dunedin Hospital with her husband Byron (left) and mother (not pictured) by her side

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