A woman ‘allergic to WiFi’ is currently living in a garden shed and says her situation has now become dire.
Rachel Hinks says her severe electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) means exposure to telephone and internet signals is making her extremely unwell.
Rachel, 44, featured in the Observer in January when she was forced to leave her Chichester home of 19 years.
After spending months ‘off the grid’ including living in a tent in the Welsh valleys, Rachel has just returned to the area.
She said: “I’ve been back in Chichester two weeks and it’s shocked me how quickly I’ve gone downhill.
“I’ve been shaking, fatigued, had headaches and diarrhoea twice a day.
“While I was in Wales in a tent or sleeping in my car all my symptoms completely stopped.
“But now I’m near masts again I’m feeling so ill, I vomited twice this morning and it’s causing a lot of acute symptoms, the worst being it’s now affecting my heart and sending me into heart arrhythmia.”
Rachel is currently sleeping in the summer house at the bottom of a family friend’s garden where the mast signal is low.
She sleeps on the floor under a silver mesh canopy which blocks out it out.
She says she can physically feel the signals through her body which register on her electromagnetic monitor.
“The signal from phone masts is constant and when I go near one I get a screeching pain in my head, and if I’m near a cordless phone or a WiFi hub it’s a pulsing signal which I can feel juddering through my heart,” she said.
“It’s incredibly isolating, I can’t go to groups or friends’ houses anymore, I have to meet people in the woods.”
EHS is not a recognised medical condition, and though studies have proved inconclusive, up to five per cent of the UK population claim to be affected by electromagnetic fields (EMF), according to NHS Choices.
The World Health Organisation, while stating there is ‘no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure’, acknowledges that ‘while some individuals report mild symptoms and react by avoiding the fields as best they can, others are so severely affected that they cease work and change their entire lifestyle’.
Rachel has been diagnosed with severe EHS from a practicing GP who is among a number of doctors concerned by the rise in telephone and internet signals in the UK.
She believes because she has a number of autoimmune diseases such as Lupus she is especially sensitive.
As well as wanting to raise awareness of EHS, Rachel is trying to raise money so she can find a permanent home, having been told by Chichester District Council she is the lowest priority for rehousing.
“I’m now in a life-threatening crisis. With signals going up and up and up it’s making me severely ill,” she said.
“We haven’t been living with these sort of levels for very long to know what they are doing to us, I feel like we’re a living experiment, we’re human guinea pigs.”
A friend of 12 years is so concerned she has made a film about Rachel’s plight.
Carolyn Davies said: “I decided to make a film for her because I believe that she is suffering serious physical symptoms from EMF and is in a dire predicament, needing somewhere safe and warm to stay for the winter and going forward.
“I hope my film will help her to raise funds to buy a camper van so that she can move to low or non EMF locations, to give her body a chance to recover and be safe and warm this winter.”
To read more about Rachel’s situation and to donate go to https://www.gofundme.com/rachelhinks