“We’ve got your back now”, pupils tell teacher
Vicky Roberts with her partner Tommy
30th June 2021
By Warren Wilkins
People are rallying behind a much-loved teacher who needs to undergo brain surgery. Vicky Roberts, 34, who teaches year three pupils at St Columb Primary Academy, has been diagnosed with Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as suicide disease, sometimes described as the most excruciating pain known to humanity.
Family, friends and pupils are organising various fundraising initiatives to help raise the £25,000 needed to pay for private treatment to help end the debilitating pain as Vicky may have to wait two and a half years for NHS care.
Pupils in her Mackerel class are staging a sponsored 5km run/walk at Newquay Sports Centre on Sunday to raise as much money as possible for their teacher. They have also been making home-made lemonade and badges to sell to make some extra money.
The children have made rainbow T-shirts with the message “You had our back, now we’ve got yours.”
Simon Barnes, the operations manager at Newquay Sports Centre, whose eldest son is in Vicky’s class, will be running along the Cornish coastpath on Saturday starting at Land’s End and ending at the Sports Centre to raise funds.
He will be running a total of 100.9km in under 24 hours with club member Jess. Vicky’s sister Gemma Quentin has also started a crowdfunder, which has so far raised more than £7,000, whilst Jules Smith, whose daughter Bella is a pupil in her class, has launched a Go Fund Me fund-raising page that has amassed over £2,000.
Gemma said: “Vicky is outgoing, lively and the room is never quiet if she is in it. Vicky’s pain came completely out of the blue in October 2019. She suddenly clutched her face in pain and looked in total fear. Within a month she was diagnosed with Trigeminal neuralgia. “
“The pain typically involves the lower face and jaw, although sometimes it affects the area around the nose and above the eye. It is an intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain and is caused by irritation of the trigeminal nerve, which sends branches to the forehead, cheek and lower jaw. “
“She has now had all confidence knocked out of her and lives with no quality of life having regular attacks. She spends every day trying to sleep as much as possible as the Trigeminal neuralgia thankfully doesn’t get her in her sleep. “
“When she is awake she sits in a dark room with little or no noise and entertainment through fear of triggering another attack. Her consultant has told her there is no other option apart from brain surgery now as the condition has worsened.”
Jules said: “We did not know Vicky was poorly because she is so bubbly. She was so good to the children during the lockdown helping them with home learning. Vicky was amazing. You could not wish for a better teacher. It is so sad and we are desperate to get her the help she needs. The children absolutely adore her.”
To donate money to the Go Fund Me fund-raiser visit www.gofundme.com/f/mackerels-run-for-vicky
People can donate through www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-vicky-beat-suicide-disease