Brave Victoria Ready For Return To Manchester

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To take part in the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, visit

A MANCHESTER woman who lost both legs after being diagnosed with one of the most painful conditions known to humans will take part in the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run to raise awareness of the charity she set up.

Victoria Abbott-Fleming will take on the 10km event in the city centre of Manchester for the second year running as a double above knee amputee, without the use of prosthetics.

The qualified barrister had to give up her career after being diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a rare chronic condition which is considered to be one of the most painful currently known, following a minor accident at work in 2003 when she fell down the stairs.

The condition causes extreme burning in the limbs following an injury, extreme sensitivity to even the most minor changes in temperature or environment and resulted in painful sores and ulcers on Victoria's leg.

Three years after the original diagnosis, it was decided that Victoria's right leg needed to be amputated, and after contracting swine flu on holiday in 2014 where she was given a 20% chance of survival, a tear in the sciatic nerve led to a devastating second CRPS diagnosis, this time in her left leg.

Nine months later, her remaining leg was also amputated, confining the then-35-year-old to a lifetime in a wheelchair; unable to use prosthetics due to the extreme pain she suffered while attempting to fit them.

Victoria, who was brought up in Heald Green and went to William Hulme Grammar School in Whalley Range, founded Burning Nights CRPS Support, dedicated to supporting those affected by the condition as well as raising awareness among the public.

And last year, she took on her first Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run – enjoying it so much that she didn't hesitate in signing up for this year's event, which takes place on Sunday, 28 May.

Speaking of her experience last year in taking on Europe's biggest 10k event for the first time, the 38-year-old confessed: “It was difficult. I didn't know whether I was going to finish it. Because there are so many people around, I was concerned that people wouldn't be able to see me, and that people would bump into me because I am so low down.

“I thought I was going to be in the way, but that wasn't the case at all. All the people around me were really nice.

“They were surprised that I was doing it in a wheelchair. It was scary, but enjoyable all the same. If it wasn't Manchester I wouldn't have done it. I proved I could do it.

“I don't like being in a wheelchair – so in completing a 10k in it, I faced my fears.

“I'm very self-conscious. You get a lot of people staring – and of course a lot of people on the day were looking at me.

“I faced my demons in that respect and I'm looking forward to taking part again.”

Victoria, who now lives in Chinley, in High Peak, will be joined on the day by trustees and supporters of the charity, with husband Michael supporting on the sidelines.

She explained: “This time, I'll be in a group of five made up of supporters and trustees, we're all going to do it together and finish together.

“I know what to expect this year and I'm not as frightened – I'm definitely looking forward to it.”

All funds raised will go to Burning Nights, which Victoria set up in 2014, and she is glad that some good has come out of her nightmare experience.

She added: “I live in severe agonising pain every day of my life, taking 56 tablets a day. However, through the charity, I have turned a 13 year nightmare into a positive.”

To take part in the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run, visit