Lori Sylman’s Story

After suffering 44 years with migraines, Lori was finally able to find a healthcare provider at WCH who truly understood her distress.

When Lori Sylman had her first migraine, her schoolteacher sent her to stand alone in the hallway as punishment. She was just 11 years old. That moment of pain and isolation was the first of countless more she would experience over the next 44 years.

By the time Lori was in her 30s, she was suffering from three or four migraines a week, unable to find a healthcare provider who truly understood her distress. Eventually, the pain landed the mother of three in hospital at least once a month.

“That was the breaking point for me,” she remembers. “I had to figure out a different way to manage this.”

Advice from her sister sent Lori to Dr. Christine Lay, an internationally renowed neurologist and director of Women’s College Hospital’s Centre for Headache. Over the last five years, Dr. Lay has helped Lori manage her headaches with a combination of medication, diet, vitamins and exercise. Lori’s 20-year-old daughter also receives life-changing treatment from Dr. Lay.

“I spent years hiding behind the pain because I got so tired of constantly saying I had a headache,” says Lori. “Now I feel like I can actually talk about it.”

From standing alone in that hallway to finding a champion in Dr. Lay, Lori takes comfort is knowing that she’ll never again have to feel alone with her headaches.

“Without Dr. Lay, I wouldn’t be where I am today, feeling good and positive about my own daughter’s future. I know it’s going to be okay for her, because she has Women’s College Hospital.”

Donate today and give the gift of hope and healing to more women like Nadine. If you are interested in becoming a patient at the Centre for Headache, please speak to your doctor to learn more and get a referral.