An Isle mum who feared she would be paralysed from the neck down is aiming to walk 5K next month to thank the neurosurgeons who saved her life.
Carol Shipley, who lives in Epworth, will take part in the Head Start race to raise money for Neurocare, a charity which funds life-saving equipment, cutting edge research and supports the work of Sheffield hospitals’ neurological wards.
Carol’s problems began last September when she got up one morning with a stiff neck which then developed over the next few weeks into an increasing range of painful and distressing symptoms.
These included back and shoulder pain, loss of feeling in her torso and left hand which would also go into spasms, a burning pain in her right leg and a loss of control over her left leg.
“My stomach started to blow up and at night I would also get fidgety legs as if there were thousands of spiders crawling about under my skin,” said 51-year-old Carol from Epworth.
“One day my left leg suddenly gave way in a car park and when I tried to stand up it would go in any direction but the one I wanted it to go.
“It all came out of nowhere and I seemed to be getting a new symptom every day. It was very frightening.
“When I was sent for an urgent MRI scan by my GP I thought I had a brain tumour. I thought I was dying.”
The scan just before Christmas revealed that Carol had a prolapsed disc in her neck which had severely compressed her spinal cord.
The award winning self-employed bookkeeper had emergency surgery at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital where the disc was replaced by a titanium cage.
Carol’s condition improved rapidly after surgery but she has been left with nerve and motor problems in her left hand and leg, which can still give way.
“I’m having physio to try and improve this but as yet I don’t know whether the problems are permanent.
“But, if I had not had the surgery I would have been paralysed from the neck down. The neuro team were amazing and I really want to give something back to thank them.
“That’s when I discovered the Neurocare charity and the brilliant work they do to support the neurological staff, wards and patients at the Hallamshire.”
Carol will be taking a big step towards her recovery by attempting to walk 5K during Neurocare’s Head Start event next month.
The annual event, now in it’s seventh year, is sponsored by Wilson Field and has so far raised more than £70,000 for the charity.
Entrants can take part in family fun 5K or chip timed 10K course at Rother Valley Country Park on April 17. For more information and to enter go to www.neurocare.org.uk or call 0114 267 6464.
“It’s going to be a challenge, but it has given me a real goal to aim for,” added Carol who will be walking with family and friends. Her 24 year-old son Matthew will also be running the 10K course for Neurocare.
If you would like to support Carol go to her JustGiving page: Click here