My friend Rebecca was a happy and healthy 28-year-old newly wed when she fell while out with her mum and wife during a day out at a country park.
She thought she might have broken her shoulder. But within hours of sitting in A&E she had lost control of her bladder, and days later in a hospital bed she became completely paralysed from the chest down.
She spent several months there before the doctors were able to diagnose her with a neurological condition known as FND.
That was nearly seven months ago, and still Rebecca has not received any rehabilitative treatment (she is on a very long waiting list for a specialist unit) and does not know if she will ever be able to walk or move normally again, or what the future looks like for her.
Rebecca’s life has been turned upside down. She has gone from being an outgoing, independent young woman who worked full-time, to someone who can not move from her bed. She has to rely on her wife and carers, who visit six times a day, to wash and look after her personal care, from a hospital bed in her living room.
She spends long days alone while her wife is at work, completely isolated from normal life. The only time she gets to leave her home is when she needs to go back to hospital, often in an emergency, as she has had several dangerous infections while paralysed, one which required a life changing surgery. At the moment, the NHS are unable to provide a wheelchair that is suitable for her needs, so she is not even able to go outside and get fresh air.
The benefits system in the UK has completely failed Rebecca and her wife. Despite applying for everything Rebecca should be entitled to, they have received less than £1000 over the last seven months. They are having to exist on only one income, which is extremely tight when they have to pay for daily medical supplies and a specialised diet to stop Rebecca from choking on her food. Their house bills are also very expensive asher home needs to be kept warm to keep her well and her clothes need washing daily to stop her urostomy becoming infected.
Despite all of this, Rebecca has faced all this with incredible strength and humour. She is one of the most incredible people I know.
Anything you can give to support Rebecca with her day to day living to help support her through this incredibly hard period of her life would be hugely appreciated.
- Fox Meyer
- Laura Elliott
- James Powell
Organizer and beneficiary
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