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7th Jul, 2022

Sarah celebrates rebuilding life

Malvern Editorial 20th Nov, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

A COURAGEOUS woman has held a celebration to thank everyone who helped her overcome a life debilitating condition.

Sarah Nicholls welcomed people to Air Hairdressing on Tuesday to show her gratitude for all of their support during the last two years, as she has rebuilt her life.

The salon on Church Street is now the home of her business Pampered by Sarah which has become a success with more than 60 clients despite only launching this time last year.

But 12 months previously Sarah’s life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia – a condition which tells the body’s nerve receptors they are in pain when they are not, and causes symptoms such as muscle cramps and spasms as well as severe fatigue and co-ordination problems.

The 34-year-old mum-of-two, who at the time was an activities tutor at Malvern Hills Outdoor Education Centre, said she was relieved the condition was not anything worse, but the prospect of life in a wheelchair still loomed.

“Everything just fell apart. I couldn’t really leave the house and looking after the children was very difficult. I was now unemployed for the first time in 18 years and unable to walk. I was mentally very low,” she told the Observer.

But slowly but surely, she began to rebuild her life. It started with lifestyle coaching to learn how to manage the condition. After months of physiotherapy and progress Sarah thought about what she was going to do with the rest of her life and took a manicure course.

Then, with help from the Job Centre, business support from staff at Blue Orchid and funding from the district council, she launched Pampered by Sarah in November last year. It started off as a mobile service but before long Tom Harris, owner of Air, invited her to operate out of his salon in Great Malvern.

Sarah said: “Being here in this environment has helped me smile again and given me a happy life. I just want to thank everyone at Air who are like a family to me, but also all of the medical staff, the job centre who were awesome and Blue Orchid.

“Fibromyalgia is not curable and is a hard condition to overcome but now I am pain free. It is about managing your energy levels and learning not to ‘boom’ and ‘bust’.

“I used to be on the hills every day but I have scaled down my expectations and now I am happy I can walk to the top of Church Street.

“People call me Tigger because I used to bounce around, but now I don’t have to jump around my energy is in my face. I have got my spirit back.

“I want anyone with fibromyalgia to know you there can be a positive outcome.”

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