Weʼve raised £0 to I want to help my friend's mom to walk againd
- Closed on Tuesday, 4th December 2018
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StoryOn 24th August 2016 my friends mom Tahira, aged 55, drove to the hospital for elective surgery. The surgery was meant to help in eliminating pain and mobility problems however she returned paralysed from the neck down. We are fundraising for a new treatment for her condition (spinal cord
was in the passenger seat as my mum drove to hospital. The car we travelled in was the one she used for her work as a driving instructor. I asked to take a photo - mainly because she was nervous and I imagined she would look back at it after the surgery and laugh at how silly she had been.injury) called an
She walked into the hospital theatre department for planned surgery to the bones in her neck to help release compressed nerves. These had been causing her pain and difficulty in walking for several months and were affecting her ability to work. Her driving school was growing and she wanted to work more but was limited because of this. The Doctors thought they could halt the progression of the nerve damage and offered her surgery.
Several hours later, she returned - paralysed from the neck down.
She couldn't move her legs, she could barely move her arms and she was scared. Petrified. We all were. Would this be permanent?
Two very long days later, with no change in her neurology, she underwent further surgery as the Doctors thought this might help her recovery.
This time however, she was worse.
She was critically unwell and unable to breathe for herself. A long story short, she ended up in the Intensive care unit, on a ventilator, needing strong medication to keep her alive, tubes to feed her and take care of her bodily functions. She became confused - an effect of her medications perhaps and everything she had been through. She was there for what felt like a lifetime. It was heart-wrenching to see my usually strong and capable mum reduced to this shell of a person who had to lie flat for days on end, wasn't allowed to eat anything and had trouble communicating because of all the tubes. We thought it was the end.
We never imagined this. Sure, we knew the surgery came with risks but not this. How would we cope?
Over six months in two hospitals (one all the way in Sheffield), a further three surgeries for pressure sores and the biggest test of our strength as a family later, she was home.
Now labelled as an incomplete C4-C6 ASIA B spinal cord injury patient.
My mum returned home in a wheelchair, using portable ramps over the steps she walked down from. She is reliant on carers and her family to feed her, wash her, dress her, help with bowels and urinary function, turn her in bed at night and help her to live as near normal a life as is possible under these circumstances.
There have been so many sad moments since then and yet, so many happy ones also. She made it to my brother's graduation, she made it to her 56th birthday. She got to boss me around for a bit longer.
The Doctors have said that the natural recovery is unpredictable. It could be that she never recovers. There is no specific treatment for spinal cord injury - certainly not more than physiotherapy on the NHS.
However, there is a new treatment called an Epidural stimulator, and initial trials are promising. (See links at the end for Andrew Bell's journey, and the Christopher Reeve Foundation The Big Idea). It's a device which is implanted in the spine and stimulates the muscles in the body to try and get the messages through from the brain.
There is a chance that my mum could get some function back in her legs, maybe even walk again one day. She may be able to get some control over her bowels and bladder. She may get some independence back.
It costs a crazy amount - £70,366 to be precise. The hospital offering it are based in Thailand and known as Unique Access . This includes the use of stem cells, device implantation, 40 days of inpatient rehab and accommodation for my mum and one carer.
We've checked her eligibility and they have confirmed they would consider her as a candidate.
With your help, maybe it's possible to raise this money. Maybe we can give my mum the best chance of recovery in her lifetime.
We are fundraising for £80,000 (JustGiving fees will come to approx £5000) to include: £70,366 for the device and the remainder for flights and maintenance costs.
So please help.
Please spare whatever you can to help a generous, loving and strong woman get her independence back.
Please share this page and help us to raise as much of our target as possible!
And last but not least, remember us in your prayers.
With gratitude and hope,
Epidural Stimulator. Please keep reading to find out more and donate!
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