Soldier suffers from fibromyalgia after heatstroke

Lana Bandoim's picture

A soldier who suffered from fibromyalgia after experiencing heatstroke has won a lawsuit. Barney Tipping, who was part of the British Armed Forces, had a heatstroke in Kenya during pre-deployment exercises. After returning to the U.K., he was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia and continues to suffer from chronic pain.

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Barney Tipping was forced to march with a backpack in 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures while he was in Kenya. The soldier was participating in pre-deployment exercises in the area and was following orders. However, he experienced heatstroke and went into shock, so he was evacuated for treatment. Tipping explains, “I followed orders and pushed my body to the maximum because in the forces that is what you are trained to do. My superiors knew this and should never have put us in that position given the risk we were taking and the Army guidelines relating to heat.”

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Despite receiving treatment, Barney Tipping has not fully recovered and continues to battle several health issues. He experienced problems receiving a proper diagnosis before learning that he has fibromyalgia. He also suffers from chronic pain, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder. Tipping adds, “I now live with constant pain and am unable to undertake many basic tasks. I try to live a normal life with my wife and family but my physical limitations and the mental impact of what has happened to me mean that day-to-day life is very difficult.”

Tipping has been awarded £275,000 ($429,812) in damages, but he continues to express his anger over the way the British Armed Forces treated him. The soldier explains that his health issues were ignored, and he was accused of exaggerating his illness. He mentions that he felt humiliated by the Army because of accusations that he was a liar. Barney Tipping was medically discharged in 2009, and he is not able to work.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain

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