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Meet the Committee

Executive Committee

After obtaining dental (Kings College London), medical (University of Cambridge) degrees and specialist training in oral medicine, Professor Zakrzewska went on to specialise in orofacial pain. Her MD on trigeminal neuralgia led to further clinical research in this field. She spent ten years as an academic at Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry where she was awarded a personal chair in facial pain. In April 2007 Professor Zakrzewska moved to a NHS post at Eastman Dental Hospital, University College London Hospitals in order to set up a national centre of excellence in facial pain. She has written four books on orofacial pain, contributed to over 10 chapters and written over 80 peer reviewed papers on the theme of orofacial pain. She lectures extensively both nationally and internationally. She is a member of the TNA US Medical Advisory Board.

Lorraine worked for many years in the Entertainments Industry in Sales & Marketing working for various companies including the BBC.
She also volunteered as a Special Constable in the Metropolitan Police for 42 years after retiring as Chief Officer and being awarded the MBE by the Queen.
Lorraine continues to Volunteer in the Metropolitan Police helping the Special Constabulary.
She has suffered with TN for over 35 years and her knowledge and experience has helped her run the South East Essex Support Group.
Her hobbies are travelling, collecting Postcards and her dog.

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Vanessa feels extremely fortunate in that she herself has never experienced a TN attack, however she has lived through her husband Vince’s journey with TN for many years.

Over the years Vince has had several unnecessary teeth extractions and was prescribed large doses of medication which rendered him feeling like a zombie but he never knew what he was suffering from. Eventually a private appointment with a Maxillofacial surgeon finally diagnosed TN. Vince then had 4 x Glycerol injections with varying degrees of pain relief. Currently his TN is now managed by medication.

Vanessa saw her role which initially started as a supportive carer evolving into the need to become as well informed about TN as she possibly could. She carried out extensive research on the internet and attended all of Vince’s appointments with him. During this time, she came across the TNA UK website and they both attended one of the annual conferences. Vince was so blown away to meet other TN sufferers for the very first time, and who knew exactly what he was going through – this was truly a lightbulb moment for both of them.

Vanessa joined the team of volunteers manning the Telephone Helpline and has now become a trustee.

Vanessa has worked in retail all of her life within a large retail organisation but is now retired and kept very busy with their grandchildren. They both escape whenever they can to their caravan in Dorset.

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Helen worked as a primary school teacher and special educational needs coordinator for 31 years before taking early retirement in July 2019. She has had TN since 2008 and found TNA UK when searching for information and support online. As there were no Local Support Groups in Cheshire, Helen started a group in 2012 and continues to arrange meetings. She became a trustee in 2020.

Helen managed her TN with medication for several years but when the increasing doses reached maximum levels and the side effects became too much, she was accepted for radiosurgery. The first treatment in 2013 had limited impact but a second treatment in 2016 has provided good relief with acceptable side effects.

Helen continues to take strategies to try and prevent flare ups, including avoiding cold and windy weather. When the weather is fair, Helen enjoys walking, allotment gardening and travel, both domestic and international.

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Deborah worked as an Engineer for 26 years in the Aerospace and Submarine Sonar fields, both in the East Midland and North West regions. She spent the last few years in Engineering as an Engineering Manager.
Deborah suffered with Trigeminal Neuralgia from her early thirties and had a successful MVD in 2017, having suffered for eleven years. Following her MVD she decided to leave her Engineering management role in order to manage the stress in her life better. Deborah turned to cake decorating as a hobby several years ago and upon leaving her Engineering role she decided to set up her own cake business. Deborah now makes cakes for all occasions, especially weddings, is a cake instructor and has won awards for her work.
Deborah started voluntary work with TNA UK in 2017 in order to give something back to the charity, as they were a great source of help prior to her MVD. Her involvement in the Association helps her deal with the mental suffering she went through during the later years of her TN. Deborah, having been told medically that she is still a TN sufferer, is committed to trying to help others with TN and raise awareness.
Deborah lives with her husband and her cat and since her MVD she enjoys taking Motorbike holidays, walking, reading, particularly fantasy adventure, socialising with her friends and cake decorating.

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Kirsten joined the TNA as a trustee in September 2020. She currently runs the North West Support Group and helps to manage the social media.

Kirsten developed Trigeminal Neuralgia in 2015 aged 23 and has trialled different medications since then.

Kirsten lives in Bolton with her husband, daughter and two rescue cats.

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Karen joined TNA this year as a Trustee, she helps with the medical and policy side of the Charity.

Karen is a Practice Nurse in a GP Surgery and has been a nurse for over 30 years. She volunteered to help TNA after not only seeing a close friend suffer but also some of her patients.

Karen enjoys travelling, photography, watching and reading anything medical and she loves animals.

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