A gift of relief for children and teens living with complex pain

A transformational $5-million gift from the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation expands services for children and teens living with complex pain

Complex pain in children is under-diagnosed and under-treated. Approximately 20% of children and adolescents suffer from continuous or recurrent pain and 5% have serious disability due to complex pain conditions. However, only a fraction gets the medical care they need. But a transformational gift to the Children’s Foundation will allow an even greater number of Quebec children and teens living with complex pain to get desperately needed help.

Jane Edwards and her brother, Eric Hoguet, of the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation, have pledged $5-million to the newly named Edwards Family Interdisciplinary Centre for Complex Pain at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. A portion of their gift, $1.8-million, will be placed in an endowment to sustain the Centre for generations of children to come.

“I am so grateful to Eric and Jane,” says Dr. Pablo Ingelmo. “Their incredible donation will allow my team and me to treat a greater number of children and teens living in pain; expand our educational programs for patients, parents and primary caregivers; support our medical education and fellowship programs; and increase our work in pain research.” Dr. Ingelmo is proud to mention the Centre helps more than 75% of its patients to be functional with minimal or no pain, but says there is much work to be done and knowledge to be learned to eradicate complex pain (persistent pain that lasts more than three months).

Complex pain is a worldwide, rising epidemic, especially in girls. If young people do not receive proper treatment, complex pain can lead to mental health issues (PTSD, anxiety, depression, suicidality and opioid misuse). In the long-term, 50-75% will become adults with disabilities associated with pain. In adulthood, unmanaged pain can lead to poverty, homelessness, drug addiction and even suicide. In Canada, the estimated total cost to the economy of chronic pain totals approximately $56 to $60 billion per year (Wilson et al., 2015).

Support for complex pain care and research the Edwards family legacy

In 2000, Jane and Eric’s dad, Alan Edwards established the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation primarily dedicated to supporting pain management and research. Thanks to Alan’s vision, drive and financial support, Montreal is the world’s epicentre of pain medicine and research, and the reason Dr. Ingelmo moved from Italy to Montreal to work at the Children’s.

Today, Jane and Eric continue the family legacy. “My brother and I have tremendous confidence in Dr. Ingelmo’s vision! It's an absolute honour to be in a position to make a transformational gift that will make a difference in the lives of kids living in pain,” says Jane. “I think our Dad would be over the moon!”

“We are deeply grateful to Jane and Eric for their transformative gift to the Foundation's Unexpected Ways to Heal Campaign,” says Renée Vézina, President of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Their financial support allows Dr. Ingelmo and his team to continue making breakthroughs that will allow countless children in Quebec and around the world find relief.”

See the announcement in La Presse.