Amanda Blair reveals her health challenge
Adelaide personality Amanda Blair has talked publicly for the first time about the serious illness that left her face paralysed and changed her life.
While her symptoms have improved markedly, Amanda Blair says suffering Ramsay Hunt syndrome has given her a new understanding of disability and disfigurement. Photo: Mike Smith
The condition, Ramsay Hunt syndrome, is thought to be caused by the shingles virus.
Blair became unwell in August 2019 and woke up one morning with one side of her face completely paralysed.
“It felt like a hot electric octopus had slapped itself to the side of my head,” the 54-year-old says.
Blair phoned her husband, Dr Michael Farquharson, an intensive care specialist, who initially thought his wife had had a stroke.
“I couldn’t really talk and I tried to convey that I was numb,” she says. “He said, ‘just get up and have a Disprin and I’ll be home in a minute’. I reckon he flew here in about three minutes.
“I was laughing at him saying, ‘I haven’t had a bloody stroke, I was compos mentis, I just couldn’t feel one side of my face, I couldn’t talk and I was spitting everywhere like an alpaca.”
Speaking exclusively to SALIFE magazine, the mother of five describes how the illness has changed her life, and how she continues to cope with the day to day.
“There’s nothing you can do about it, there’s no point worrying. I’ve still got to get on with my life, I’ve still got to go to the kids’ hockey, I’ve still got to go to the supermarket. There are many worse things that can happen to you,” she says.
In a frank and wide-ranging interview with SALIFE, Blair opens up about a range of issues including her childhood, charities, family life and how she got to a “tipping point” in Adelaide’s commercial radio industry.
Read the full Amanda Blair story in the SALIFE November issue available from newsagents and selected supermakets.