Two years ago, Jarrett Seck had dreams of playing football and becoming a physiotherapist. Today, the 22-year-old has had to put those aspirations on the sidelines to focus on his health.
Last December, Seck was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a chronic pain condition which can cause damage to the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS has since left him immobile in the Regina General Hospital with what he calls “bone crushing” pain.
It all started after a football injury in September 2015. At first, he thought it might have been his ACL, but it turned out to be much worse.
Six months later, the pain grew even more severe. Eventually, it spread to his other leg and left arm, leaving him bedridden.
“The pain transferred into burning — it felt like my leg was on fire,” Jarrett said, adding that the pain is now an 11 on a scale of one to 10. “My body feels like it’s on fire. It sometimes feels like my back is being crushed into powder — it’s pretty awful.”
This summer, Jarrett had a neuromodulator and a pain pump surgically implanted, in hopes of providing him with some relief. However, his father, David, said neither eased the pain.
“It’s been really disheartening, actually. No positive things have happened,” said David. “It’s always been like we get here, then we get here — then we don’t get the result that we’re looking for.”
Watching her son in his hospital bed, Jarrett’s mother, Shelley, said it breaks her heart.
“Just to see him laying like this — you just feel like it should have been you, not him, because he’s just so young and has a future ahead of him,” she said, before wiping tears from her eyes.
Despite living in excruciating pain, Jarrett said his positive mindset keeps him looking forward — even when it’s not always easy.
“I know it’s a disease that’s life-long, but I still have dreams that I want to accomplish yet,” Jarrett said. “I’m 22 years old and I have that internal drive and hopefully I’ll one day be able to meet my goals in life.”
Finishing his degree in kinesiology and starting a family are the two things that top Jarrett’s list.
But for now, the former defensive linebacker has launched a GoFundMe page to help him get the medical attention he needs to start his recovery process.
The funds would go towards paying for a trip down to the U.S. for treatment at a Neurological Relief Centre in Arkansas.
Since last Saturday, the GoFundMe has raised almost $39,000, which is just under half of their $81,000 goal.
Watching the total rise from his hospital bed, Jarrett said it feels uplifting to know friends, family — and even strangers — care about his quality of life.
“(The GoFundMe page) has been a big mental boost for me and my family,” said Jarrett. “It helps me in the tough days to push through.”
On Monday, Jarrett will be moving to long-term care at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre, where he will spend his days before hopefully heading down south for treatment.