About Vigdis Thompson
Vidgis Thompson was born on October 16, 1950 in Grefsen, Oslo. She lived with her mother and grandparents in a villa which, later in life, played a key role for the foundation. Vigdis was a caring, friendly person with a large group of friends. She always had a smile on her face, loved flowers and was very interested in photography. She was an active girl scout and thus maintained friendships with people in various countries, friends which accompanied her through her lifetime.
In her early twenties, she decided to move to the USA working as an Au-Pair with a family. She learned the English language and through her warm charisma quickly made friends. After her return to Norway she continued to visit the USA where she would meet with friends and the family she had stayed with. During a long visit to Asia she experienced the happiest time in her life. She traveled extensively and met a diverse range of people. She spent some time in the bush with an indigenous chief. This time heavily influenced her later life.
For 15 years Vigdis was a dedicated social worker in a school and a kindergarten. Subsequently she was forced to retire as she was no longer able to perform her work due to the very heavy pain she was suffering. Her retirement income was limited, but she had inherited the house in Grefsen in which she had lived as a child with her mother.
In her late twenties she had spinal disc surgery with a negative outcome. This was the beginning of the pain in her spinal cord. Many years were spent in physical therapy and with countless medical consultations, but the cause of her pain was not found. Finally, she was diagnosed with Tarlov Cysts.
In Norway she found no help as the doctors did not think that Tarlov Cysts were the problem. Thanks to her friends in the US she made contact with a doctor at John Hopkins Hospital. He treated her with his special method.
After her return to Norway she felt much better, but the many years of pain had weakened her.
She started to work with other sufferers who were affected by Tarlov Cysts and founded a patient support group called ‘Tarlov Group’, which had the goal to find help in Norway for its members.
Vigdis made contact with numerous people in the USA, in France and other countries who suffered from Arachnoiditis and subsequent Tarlov Cysts.
In the French town of Vichy she twice attended a Neurology Conference (AAMOR) where she reported on her ordeal as a patient. There she met Prof. Dr. med. Jan-Peter Warnke in May 2013. His calm and compassionate manner as well his method of treatment of Tarlov Cysts created new hope and confidence in Vigdis. Vigdis decided to meet with Prof. Dr. med. Jan-Peter Warnke after the summer to finalize a therapy schedule.
Her health continued to decline. While the pain caused by the Tarlov Cysts was getting stronger, she also developed symptoms of paralysis. Finally, in July of 2013 ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) was diagnosed. She kept losing her speech, her ability to move, herself.
Her friends supported her and stayed by her side during this most difficult time in her life, gave her strength, were just there for her at all times. In the end, they were only able to communicate with her through ‘facilitated communication’, i.e. pointing at pictures or letters. Blinking her eyes signaled agreement. Friends read through the alphabet and blinking when she heard the desired letter allowed her to formulate words.
She declined any life prolonging measures. She knew her end was coming and was ready for it. Before she had the chance to meet again with Prof. Dr. med. Jan-Peter Warnke, Vigdis passed away on September 4, 2013. Her suffering ended, but her contributions benefiting others continue through her bequest.