Local filmmaker raises awareness about pain

Posted at 6:24 PM, Mar 24, 2016

Imagine being in constant pain, without a cure in sight.

It's a health condition many people in Tampa Bay are suffering with, often times in silence. One local man is giving them a voice.

“It feels like all of your bones are being crushed, that your skin is on fire," Laura Lee Novak of Land O' Lakes said.

She's living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS, a chronic condition without a cure. Doctors said it can start in a limb, then spread, and causes damage to nervous systems.

“It’s called the suicide disease because the pain is so intense you can’t imagine that kind of relentless pain," Novak said.

Novak is one of the patients featured in a documentary shot here in Tampa Bay, "Trial by Fire."

Charles Mattocks, nephew of Reggae legend Bob Marley, created this film after his mother, Marley's sister, was diagnosed with CRPS eight years ago.

“I felt like I needed to do something, so I kind of wanted to share and tell her story,” Mattocks said.

Her story of pain, that at first, even he couldn't believe. He said the goal of the movie is to help the world understand this often invisible disease.  

“They needed a voice they didn’t have a spokesperson they didn’t have a face to it, I know Paula Abdul has it but she doesn’t really talk about it, so they needed somebody to stand up for them," Mattocks said.

So far, "Trial by Fire" won two awards at the Hollywood Florida Film Festival. Mattocks said he'll release the full film on his website to help people like his mother and Novak.

“This film is about hope, and the community how has hope," Mattocks said.

“You have to have hope, and if you don’t have hope for a cure then what do you have?” Novak said.

To find out more about the movie, visit the website: