Aoife McCoy (30) tells her story of living with rheumatoid arthritis. She was diagnosed two weeks after her 18th birthday. She had just started college and was admitted to hospital due to the pain she experienced.
She described her RA as affecting “every single joint in my body – from my jaw down to my baby toe. It makes it extremely difficult and painful to move even an inch, let alone walk and do daily activities. It also makes my joints look deformed from all the swelling.”
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects 45,000 people in Ireland. Some 2,000 people are diagnosed annually in this country; the majority aged in their 30s, 40s or 50s. Three in four people living with RA are women. Early diagnosis is key to better long-term outcomes. If ignored or left undiagnosed, this chronic disease can impact other organs such as the heart, eyes and lungs, and ultimately can increase mortality.
This video is produced as part of the Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis information and awareness campaign. The objective of the campaign is to increase public understanding of the disease, so that people are better informed about symptoms and are encouraged to engage with their health care professionals if they have any concerns about their health.
Living with RA is supported by MSD Ireland.