BEST FRIEND: Vicky is an inspiration

A MAN who survived an allergic reaction to swine flu medication has nominated his best friend for her “inspiration” and “motivation” while he was ill.

Mark Brocklehurst, of Boundstone Lane, Lancing, this week said Vicky O’Connor was worthy of winning the Best Friend category in this year’s Community Stars award.

He has praised Vicky for her friendship, especially during his time of need last November when he became seriously ill.

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Her support and friendship has been even more outstanding, considering Vicky is combating her own serious health problems.

Mark, 33, said: “We went to school together, but we did not start talking until a few years ago.

“When I was admitted to hospital having had a liver transplant she got in contact and we started talking properly and she has been a really good friend ever since.”

Mark contracted swine flu in November, but had a dreadful reaction to the medication which led to him being rushed into intensive care, falling into a coma and waking up to find he had undergone a liver transplant.

He said: “Vicky has been an amazing friend and a real source of inspiration, motivation and support.”

Vicky has had her fair share of bad health since she was 17 when she contracted what she thinks may have been glandular fever.

Since then, the mum-of-three has battled with eczema so severe she was told it was one of the worst cases of the skin condition seen in the country.

The 31-year-old also suffers from ME, fibromyalgia, and degenerative kidney function caused by the strong medication given to combat eczema.

Vicky, of Greenoaks, Lancing, said: “I have been ill since I was 17.

“I have been in and out of hospital, been told I might not live and we are now on similar medication.

“I can relate to what he is going through – something healthy people do not quite get.”