Nelly battles chronic fatigue to become a published author

Author, Nelly Harper, with her book 'The Girl Of Two Worlds'. Ref mhh 7563-21-15AW. Picture: Alex Wa

Author, Nelly Harper, with her book 'The Girl Of Two Worlds'. Ref mhh 7563-21-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

The 45-year-old has fought against her illness to release her first book.

A Dunkeswell woman whose life has been ‘ruined’ by chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has fought against the ailment to bring out her first book as a published author.

Nelly Harper first realised she had the illness in November 2011, when she was bedridden for days at a time through fatigue.

“In 2011, I was a fit and active person, swimming up to 100 lengths a week in the local pool,” she said. “I played the harp and worked at historic events around the country. I was originally diagnosed with B12 deficiency and a couple of months later I received the dreaded diagnosis of CFS and my life was effectively over.”

The 45-year-old, of Tencery Orchard, said she even contemplated suicide once doctors told her of her condition, adding: “I got in my car and told my ex-partner I had to commit suicide, as I could not live feeling this ill with no hope.

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“But he convinced me that I could find a way to get through this.”

The mum-of-three started receiving care from B12 Deficiency Charity, an organisation she credits with saving her life.

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“They helped me enormously and I truly believe their doctor saved my life,” she added.

“Because of the information and advice I was given, I began to source my own medication and self-inject [with B12].

“I began to get better but not well enough to return to work, to swim or to walk far.”

Despite her best efforts, Nelly could not regain her energy and struggled with day to day life.

She said: “I had to find another way of earning a living without using up too much energy. So, I began to write. One year later, I had a rough novel and found myself alone bringing up my son amongst financial difficulties.”

After two years of trying to get an agent and living on a shoestring budget, Nelly bit the bullet and developed her own publishing company, called Goblin House.

Before her first book went to print, another publisher expressed an interest, but she boldly turned them down.

Nelly is now in the process of writing her second book. She

says she has accepted she will never be well again, but regarding her writing and future work, she is ‘incredibly happy’.

Nelly added that her illness opened up the door for her passion for writing to be truly explored.

Nelly’s book - The Albion Chronicle: The Girl of Two Worlds, Volume 1 is available on her website,

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