The Story Behind Ruth Mary Jewellery

Imagine laying in an ambulance and listening to the paramedics as they Google your condition. It sounds absurd to even think this could happen but unfortunately, for people like Ruth Mary Chipperfield this is reality.

“I remember being in an ambulance once after I collapsed and the paramedics had to go on Wikipedia to find out what narcolepsy was. If they would have scrolled a bit further down the page they would have realised that I was fully conscious and heard everything. […] When I got home from the hospital I went on Wikipedia to check if the information was correct, luckily it was pretty accurate.” she shared.

Narcolepsy is a rare neurological condition that causes problems to the brain’s ability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and according to Narcolepsy UK, it affects one in every 2,500. Since doctors and researchers are not sure what exactly causes it, they can only ease the symptoms to improve the patient’s life quality. That means around 30,000 people in the United Kingdom live with a chronic illness that can affect every aspect of their lives from driving a car to their education, career and emotional health but has no known cure at the moment.

“It is difficult because the majority of narcolepsy patients never get diagnosed, or if they do, it can take a decade until the correct diagnosis. If the symptoms are not treated they can drastically turn somebody’s life for the worse and that often leads to depression.” explained dr. Adel Szabo. “You cannot really cure someone, but with medicine and the correct lifestyle you can treat the symptoms and they can still live a full life.”

Luckily, Ruth Mary’s condition did not take a decade to be discovered. “I was at uni, studying Chemistry at Warwick when I was diagnosed and after a short while I realised that my condition and studies just did not work together” she remembered. She was forced to take some time out and withdraw. Back then we knew even less of this rare illness.

However, during this difficult period she decided to change her career – she taught herself to be a silversmith and created the first pieces in the Ruth Mary Jewellery collection. Each item starts with her handmade lace design which is then turned into beautiful sterling silver jewellery.

Between collaborating with the Birmingham Royal Ballet and being invited to Downing Street as one of the top 100 small businesses in the UK, she still makes time to create VIP experiences for her clients. On Sunday, 3 December 2017 Ruth and her husband, Paul opened up their home studio for visitors to showcase her work and to offer a sneak peek of, as she described it, “where the magic happens”.

“Even though my illness changed my career plans, I cannot really complain” she laughed. Ruth Mary’s story is a great example of how perseverance and hard work can turn someone’s creative vision into a successful reality. To browse through her handmade jewellery collection and read about the creation process visit her website.

Whether you are personally affected by narcolepsy, or just know someone who is, visit to learn more and find help.


Kinga Fodor

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