Chronic pain has turned 39-year-old Langley resident Kendra Scarrow into a shut-in, not able to work and barely able to get out of bed most of the day. Through a GoFundMe page, Scarrow is hoping the public will help her pay for a surgery in the U.S. that she believes will help her immensely. Troy Landreville Langley Times

Eagle’s syndrome sufferer seeks public’s help in easing pain

A painful ailment has left Kendra Scarrow bedridden

When the window blinds were opened, ever so slightly, Kendra Scarrow winced at the slivers of sunlight that shone on her face.

The 39-year-old is a prisoner of her pain; her jail cell is a bed in the ground floor of her parents’ split level home in Willowbrook.

Scarrow suffers from Eagle’s syndrome, a disorder that causes recurrent pain of the jaw, throat, and tongue.

“It feels like something is always squeezing my neck,” she said.

Pain is triggered by swallowing, because the styloid process is affected. Eagle’s syndrome occurs when the styloid (a pointed piece of bone that extends down from the skull, just below the ear) grows longer than it should, resulting in severe and virtually constant pain.

Scarrow’s condition has forced her to live with her elderly parents, who are now her caregivers.

“Her parents are exhausted, physically, financially and emotionally,” Scarrow’s friend Anna Werrun wrote on a GoFundMe page on Scarrow’s behalf (gofundme.com/29jp9qps).

“She is currently disabled and bedridden due to her Eagle’s syndrome. She also has brainstem and spinal compression that also needs to be taken care of. She desperately needs help to get a life-saving surgery,” added Werrun.

The surgery will cost anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 and she can’t get it in Canada, according to the GoFundMe page.

“We used to have five surgeons doing (the surgery) in B.C.,” Scarrow said. “They don’t do it anymore. B.C. is the worst in Canada for medical care in so many different ways.”

Meanwhile, her condition is worsening. Scarrow eats little and spends much of her time in bed in her darkened room. She says she has screamed in her sleep from pain that clings to her face like a parasite.

“The screaming wakes me up from the pain,” Scarrow said.

Now, she’s looking for help from the public to help improve her quality of life — maybe even save her life.

“Most suggest and ask, ‘Why doesn’t the provincial medical (services plan) cover for out-of-country care?’” Scarrow said.

“I did look into that, and it’s a big complication and lengthy process. First, they have to diagnose with a specialist medical doctor to sign the forms. It has to be a diagnosis from Canada, not a U.S. doctor.”

Scarrow said U.S. doctors have already reviewed and diagnosed her, but “Canada cannot and will not accept this.”

She said finding a Canadian doctor to diagnosis Eagle’s syndrome is “impossible, because of the lack of doctors who deal with it here and a dentist does not qualify, just MDs.”

And, she said, if they don’t know about the condition, then they can’t diagnose it. Instead, it’s assumed to be something else.

“Second, even if I could obtain this, then it’s also a two-year wait for the government to approve it, according to my GP’s office,” Scarrow noted.

“My condition will not last this long, my progression has been severely fast.”

Started with vertigo

Scarrow’s medical issues began in February 2016, with severe vertigo, ear pain, and discomfort in the front of the neck area.

“The pain was very minor at first,” Scarrow said. “It quickly got worse and worse. The ear was just an itch at first and then it turned into an extreme earache.”

The pain swiftly migrated to her teeth and jaw.

“It takes me a lot to cry with pain and I went to the ER crying of ear pain,” Scarrow said. “They couldn’t see anything on the scan and they don’t even look for these styloid things. Since they didn’t see anything, they said get your teeth checked.”

She knew she had impacted wisdom teeth. One was pulled. It didn’t alleviate the pain.

Soon after, Scarrow’s dentist identified the cause of her pain as a “styloid process.”

A private 3D CT scan resulted in the Eagle’s syndrome diagnosis.

Today, Scarrow is bedridden. “Every single day, I try to get up and it gets harder every day. Basically, my parents are bringing me food and I can’t eat very well. I’ll have a small bowl of soft stew and it’ll take me five hours to eat it. Even just the action of swallowing something soft hurts.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

Langley thieves make off with $10,000 worth of remote control cars

Police are also investigating the theft of a pair of commemorative bridge plaques

VIDEO: Man collapses on Langley street

Multiple police, fire and ambulance units responded to incident outside Timms community centre

Cautious driving urged during South Langley toad migration

Thousands of toads are expected to hatch and head into the woods

19 times on 19th birthday: Aldergrove teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

UPDATE: Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

Most Read