A 14-YEAR-OLD boy, who was once part of a street dancing duo that was rated the fourth best in the world, has spoken out after being diagnosed with a rare disease.

Jack Leigh from Bacup had to give up sport and dancing after he was left suffering severe pain when he landed awkwardly following a back flip, while practising a dance move.

Jack's mum Vicky Leigh, 36, said what would normally be a simple injury to recover from, led to months of intolerable and inexplicable pain and frequent visits to the doctor. He was finally diagnosed with the rare disease of the nervous system Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

The Whitworth Community High School pupil said he had medics telling him he was ‘making it up’ and it was ‘all in his head’ despite knowing the pain was real.

Jack, and his siblings Kelsey, 10, and Jayden, nine, live with their parents Vicky and Lee Pennington, 38, at Woodlands Terrace, Bacup.

At Rawtenstall Hub, physiotherapist Paul Phythian was the first person to mention that Jack could have CRPS.

Ms Leigh said: “I went back to our doctor and got a referral to Royal Blackburn Hospital, but there was a six months wait.

“My younger son Jayden had a check up at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for his clubbed feet and on the same day I got a call from Jack’s school to say that he was in agony with the pain and could I collect him. So I ended up taking them both.

“At the hospital the orthopaedic consultant was very concerned with Jack’s condition and she diagnosed CRPS.”

CRPS is an often misunderstood condition and causes the patient to suffer extreme pain. Jack is telling his story because November is CRPS awareness month.

In Jack’s case it was initially just in his left foot for the first few months, but then it spread to every limb. He was in agony and he had to use a wheelchair to get about and someone else had to push him around.

Last December he was referred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.

Ms Leigh said: “On that first appointment they made an immediate referral for admission and he remained there for seven weeks not coming home until Easter.”

Intensive physiotherapy and hydrotherapy sessions enabled Jack to slowly regain use of his limbs, albeit he can only walk small distances and still cannot bear someone to touch him.

Jack said: “When someone touches me it is like there is an electric shock and I get a stabbing pain, I flinch and there is a burning sensation.

“At school I use a laptop because I struggle to hold a pen or a pencil for any length of time and I am very slow at typing because each time I hit the keyboard it hurts.

“Sitting on the sofa I feel electric shocks that make me jump, my knuckles are achy and where they touch the cushion it is like they are on fire. My feet feel like they are permanently crushed in my shoes and when I walk every step is painful.

“I want people to understand this condition. They can’t see it so they don’t think anything is wrong with you.”

Jack hopes that in the future his condition will improve and one day he will be able to play football again.