Taken from life

Our patients’ compelling stories

Since its establishment in 2009, the Functional Neurology Institute has helped more than 3,300 patients to permanently improve their quality of life. Many of those patients had sought long and hard for a solution to their medical condition but had been told that all avenues of treatment had been exhausted. The final advice in their quest was often ‘to learn to live with it'. We are pleased and proud that we have been able to help such a large group of people to function at their old level again and thus get their lives back. It is no wonder then that our patients come from near and far. Besides the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, England and Spain, we have also welcomed patients from Austria, Scotland, Armenia, Congo, Zimbabwe and South Africa. 

Would you like to know more about our patients’ experiences? Dozens of our patients are happy to share their experiences with you. Read how many have been able to leave completely hopeless situations behind and fully enjoy life again.  

Chronic fatigue gives way to renewed energy

"My daughter and I both benefit greatly from the treatments"

"I was always tired and could sleep no matter the time of day. I really couldn't make it through the day without taking naps. It was not unusual for me to sleep twelve hours a day,” says Wilco van Hemert (46) from Brakel in the province of North Brabant. "My energy level was so low at one point that I even had to stop cycling. And that hurt." Besides chronic mental and physical fatigue, Wilco has suffered colds, excess mucus, and annoying sinus infections for years. 

Second fastest time sk ... Read more

Wilco van Hemert

Patient (56) advocates functional neurology

"I wasn’t myself anymore"

Eighteen months ago, John van Schoonhoven had a job to do at Douwe Egberts in Utrecht. It was a very ordinary working day, until things went terribly wrong while he was dismantling a fan outlet box. The full weight of the 140-pound fan box came falling down onto his back and head. "I remember it as if it was yesterday," says John, who did not lose consciousness but felt his head burning besides all the pain. Douwe Egberts' emergency response officer decided to call an ambulance.


The a ... Read more

John van Schoonhoven

Rens Jonkers’ (13) school results are visibly improving

"Because Rens had trouble reading comprehensively, it took him far too long to master the subject matter"

In group seven of primary school, Peter and Floor Jonkers realised that their son Rens had difficulty reading comprehensively. "We noticed that he had a lot of trouble learning and preparing for tests on certain subjects," says mother Floor. “Those were mainly subjects that required a lot of reading, like geography and history. Close reading and spelling were also a problem for Rens, because he wasn’t very good at memorising the spelling rules." 

Divergent eyes 

When Floo ... Read more

Rens Jonkers
Den Bosch

Swedish guitar teacher recovers from brain trauma in Lisse

"After 16 months, I can now kitesurf again. I find that truly incredible."

Until a year and a half ago, Rickard Johansson from Børas (Sweden) was living the life he had always wanted. As a talented guitar player, he had made a career for himself doing what he loved most. He also spent a great deal of his time enjoying various sports. But this all changed when Rickard fell and suffered a head injury during a CrossFit training session. Not only was he unable to work and play sports, social interaction with others also became problematic. After seeing many doctors and specialists, the young ... Read more

Rickard Johansson
Børas (Sweden)

Rian (11) can look forward to picking up his favourite pastime again, playing tennis

"After walking around Disneyland for two hours we had to arrange for a wheelchair for Rian"

“It’s like magic,” says Arianne van der Plas, summarising the results they booked with the Functional Neurology Institute. "We had almost given up hope that Rian’s condition would ever improve," sighs Rian's mother. Ever since he was seven, Rian has suffered from pain in his legs, knees and feet and has trouble concentrating. During their long search along hospitals, physiotherapists and rehabilitation centres, the family suffered one disappointment after another. “Actually, people kept ... Read more

Arianne van der Plas

"The rug pulled out from under you "

In 1992, in the midst of preparing for his secondary education finals, Robert Huiskes had a violent epileptic seizure. Well over a year later he was struck by another epileptic attack. Tests revealed that Robert suffered from reading epilepsy. Looking back on that time, everything falls into place for Robert. "When I was cramming for my exams, I had to read ten books in two days." That visual overstimulation, combined with a lack of sleep, turned out to be too much of a good thing. With medication he was able to ward of ... Read more

Robert Huiskes

Falling roof tile turns 47-year-old nurse’s life upside down

"I couldn't tolerate the images of trees flashing by"

Kitty Verloop will never forget the heavy storm that raged on 18 January 2018. When she opened her front door, the 47-year-old nurse from Lisserbroek had no idea that only 5 minutes later her life would be turned upside down. Kitty's husband pulled her straight back inside when she was struck by a dislodged roof tile. Initially, Kitty didn’t seem to have been too badly hurt. "I had a wound right along my hairline, which was stitched straight away when I got to the medical centre. I did not feel sick to my stomach, ... Read more

Kitty Verloop

Patient (57) finally feels heard after years of searching

"My brain is functioning properly again"

When in 2014 Monique Broer went to see her GP for persistent colds, she could never have imagined that her life would soon take a dramatic turn. “It didn't appear to be serious at all at first," says Monique. After the ENT (ear, nose and throath) doctor removed a few polyps, she felt much better. "I could breathe again and I felt great. I was just as energetic as I had always been." 

Anxiety and fear

However, her initial enthusiasm quickly turned into anxiety and fear when ... Read more

Monique Broer

"Sometimes fate strikes twice"

In 1983, Martin Ebell was involved in a serious skiing accident. A year of treatment ensued, but even then Martin was still in a lot of pain and was severely limited in what his body was able to do. And if that wasn’t bad enough, another dark cloud loomed on the horizon; it was only a matter of time before he would be declared disabled. Martin decided not to let fate take matters out of his own hands and went in search of effective medical help to get him back on his feet. His quest led him to Ron van der Kuil, who at that ... Read more

Martin Ebell

"Head and pavement collide"

In December 2015, Marjo Sweijen was involved in a traffic accident. She was thrown off her bicycle, landing head first with a sickening thud on the pavement. Unsurprisingly, Marjo blacked out. Besides some broken ribs and massive shoulder bruising, Marjo suffered a concussion. It soon became clear that the consequences of the concussion were much more serious than the physical complaints caused by her broken ribs and bruised shoulder. Marjo suffered from dizziness and limited resilience. She was also extremely sensitive to stimul ... Read more

Marjo Sweijen
Koudekerk aan den Rijn

Traumatic Brain Injury nowhere near to being diagnosed after a mysterious bicycle accident

"The cause of my muscle complaints turned out to be a neurological problem as well"

After a somewhat hesitant and bumpy start, Roel van der Heide came to enjoy cycling soon after his retirement. A few years later, the former bank manager went out cycling more than 200 days a year and about 130 kilometres a day. On a beautiful winter’s day in December 2016, Roel was standing at a crossroads next to a signpost pointing to Almere and Lelystad. The only problem was, he had no idea what he was doing there. His mind flooded with questions. "Why is my bike propped up against a fence over there? And why am I ... Read more

Roel van der Heide

Long search for solution ends at Functional Neurology Institute

"I was on the waiting list in Utah"

In November 2016, Carla Boone from Nieuw-Vossemeer was involved in a multiple car collision on her way to work. The force of the collision slammed her head against the steering wheel and she briefly lost consciousness. When she came to again, she had no feeling in her feet and fingers. “I was also very dizzy and sick to my stomach and I had to vomit," Carla recalls as if it happened only yesterday. Carla was taken by ambulance to the nearby hospital. She was also given an injection to stop the nausea. The neurologist o ... Read more

Carla Boone

Falling roof tile turns 47-year-old nurse’s life upside down

"I couldn't tolerate the images of trees flashing by"

Kitty Verloop will never forget the heavy storm that raged on 18 January 2018. When she opened her front door, the 47-year-old nurse from Lisserbroek had no idea that only 5 minutes later her life would be turned upside down. Kitty's husband pulled her straight back inside when she was struck by a dislodged roof tile. Initially, Kitty didn’t seem to have been too badly hurt. "I had a wound right along my hairline, which was stitched straight away when I got to the medical centre. I did not feel sick to my stomach, ... Read more

Kitty Verloop

Nicky (4) beats speech disorder

"During her second visit she already uttered her first words"

When daughter Nicky still hadn’t spoken her first words far beyond the time that one would expect, her parents became increasingly concerned. "When Nicky was 3 years old, she could hardly speak," says mother Suzanne Clemens-Verberk. Doctors at the time had no plausible explanation for Nicky's speech problems. The child health centre referred Nicky to the hospital for a hearing test. The family also consulted a psychologist. All tests showed that nothing was wrong with Nicky's hearing, nor was the psycholog ... Read more

Suzanne Clemens-Verberk

Gerry van Nuland (64) is making excellent progress on all fronts

"I was told in the hospital that I had to learn to live with my complaints"

“Sometimes, when I tell outsiders how well I have progressed after only 4 treatments at the Functional Neurology Institute, it strikes me how implausible that might seem to them. I can hardly believe it myself. It’s like a miracle. Fortunately, the people in my immediate surroundings can also see that I am improving by leaps and bounds." So says Gerry van Nuland (64), who, with a flair for understatement, recounts his shopping list of medical complaints. 

Prostate cancer and streptococcal bacteria ... Read more

Gerry van Nuland

Elly de Jongh (69) conquers painful shingles

"The pain is virtually gone and I can use my arm again"

Elly de Jongh (69) from Rhoon had an entirely different Christmas season in mind than being struck down in mid-December with an acute form of shingles (postherpetic neuralgia). When Ibuprofen did not help to relieve the pain and tiny bumps formed on her painful arm, Elly visited the medical centre on Saturday, 16 December. The doctor prescribed valaciclovir to combat the shingles and Tramadol and paracetamol to relieve the pain. "I was told I would heal within three to four weeks." But no. The pain in her arm actually g ... Read more

Elly de Jongh

Pilot (40) pays the price for living with busy schedules, jet lag and irregular meals

"We’ve finally got our old Robert back"

Robert had been a pilot for more than 18 years when he blacked out. This was preceded by regular dizzy spells and light-headedness for a quite some time. Robert blames this on the combination of busy flight schedules, jet lag and irregular meals. Having just arrived home from a busy shift he was on his way to bed, but first wanted to take the laundry out of the dryer. That’s when he fell down the stairs. With only a stiff arm and many bruises, Robert counted his blessings, but three days later it became clear that this was ... Read more

Robert *

Marlijda Visser (24) benefits hugely from balanced treatment plan

"My friends stopped the car by the side of the road to check if I was still breathing"

"I have made more progress here after only five treatments than in my eight years in and out of hospital." This is in a nutshell Marlijda Visser’s experience with the Functional Neurology Institute in Lisse. Marlijda, 24, had been plagued by extreme abdominal pain since she was seventeen. “And I very often felt tired and sick to my stomach." According to her GP, her complaints were only natural; they were related to the body, which changes in puberty, and would eventually go away by themselves, he said. ... Read more

Marlijda Visser

Maarten Bakker (41) falls four metres off quay

" My wife and children watched me go downhill, from bad to worse"

More than twenty years ago, fisherman Maarten Bakker fell off the quay in Harlingen harbour. He landed on his side on a fishing boat more than four meters below. Even worse, he struck his right eye socket on a metal bracket. Maarten ended up in coma in hospital, only waking up a day later. The fractures and bruises healed during the course of the following weeks. His double vision, though, did not and he suffered regular headaches as well. Two eye surgeries were to no avail. Maarten learnt to deal with this impairment as best he ... Read more

Maarten Bakker

Ball to back of head turns 15-year-old Martijn’s life upside down

"If only we had discovered the Institute in Lisse much sooner"

When Martijn Jansen (12 at the time) was hit by a ball on the back of his head while playing football in October 2015, no one could imagine how that would turn his and his whole family’s life completely upside down. Martijn was knocked unconscious for a moment, but the sporty youngster had already had concussions before, so his parent’s weren’t worried when it happened. But that quickly changed when Martijn started having complaints a few days later. "He had purple circles under his eyes, vomited a lot, cou ... Read more

Cora Mieris

Autoimmune disease draws heavily on Willina Bakker’s (35) health

"It’s amazing that I feel so much better after just five consultations"

Willina Bakker (35) from Urk, has struggled with severe intestinal complaints since she was 20. Those complaints worsened after the birth of her second son. “While giving birth, the scar from my previous caesarean section tore open, and my abdominal wall became contaminated as a consequence." Doctors diagnosed ulcerative colitus and advised Willina to take it easy for a while. Ulcerative colitus is a chronic inflammatory disease of the large intestine (autoimmune disease) that causes ulcers. “In my case, this man ... Read more

Willina Bakker

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