Funding help for Alopecia sufferer

Paula Kyle pictured before receiving her treatment. See Friday's Journal for the results. Photograph by Jim McCafferty.

Paula Kyle pictured before receiving her treatment. See Friday's Journal for the results. Photograph by Jim McCafferty.

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A Derry woman who has battled with Total Alopecia for more than 30 years has said a decision by the Health and Social Care Board to fund a treatment for her will be “utterly life changing.”

Three weeks ago, Paula Kyle - with the support of her local women’s group in Galliagh - spoke to the ‘Journal’ about the years of emotional trauma which she had endured after losing all of her hair. The 52-years-old said she had spent much of her life as a recluse, with her confidence at an all time low.

The mother of two, from Racecourse Drive in the city, had repeatedly asked for funding for a specialist hair integration system but had been turned down and was instead offered wigs. The hair integration process is where existing hair is pulled through a mesh attached with surgical tape to the scalp. Natural hair extensions are woven in using minute plastic clips.

Last week, through hair specialist Deborah Fox, Paula was informed that her treatment would be funded by the NHS.

Speaking yesterday as she received the treatment in her own home, Paula said:

“I just didn’t have the money to do this. Wigs work for some people but they just didn’t work for me and this was my only alternative. I think it’s something which should be funded for other people with this condition who need it.”

Deborah Fox from the Dr. Follicle Hair Emporium, who carried out the treatment on Paula’s hair yesterday, said there is a major demand from people in the North West and beyond.

“This is a problem which can take over people’s lives and those who need support to have a treatment which can help them should be given it,” she said. See Friday’s Journal for an exclusive photograph of the results of Paula’s treatment.