A MUM-OF-THREE diagnosed with a rare condition is asking for help to fund a wheelchair adapter that will let her keep her independence.
Sandie Roberts, 49, from Cirencester, was rushed to hospital with a suspected stroke after she collapsed at work in May last year.
She was soon diagnosed with functional neurological disorder, a condition in which there is a problem with the functioning of the nervous system and how the brain and body sends and receives signals.
Her condition conditioned to worsen, and in September she was unable to get out of bed for days. Sandie said: “The seizures wouldn’t stop so we called for the paramedics. I was having a seizure every 15 seconds. After 20 hours of seizures, my body shut down and went into paralysis. I couldn’t move, it was the scariest thing that’s ever happened in my life.”
After 12 hours, Sandie started to regain movements in her body again, but her legs never fully recovered.
“One of the hardest things for me is that the condition is out of my control,” Sandie said.
“And I am still trying to come to terms with that. I remember looking at my legs and saying ‘what is going on?’ – it was devastating.
“It has been a big battle. But it has made me a better person and brought our family closer.”
Using a wheelchair has seen Sandie go from viewing the chair with bitter resentment to an incredible tool that allows her freedom and independence.
However, six months before Sandie collapsed, she had a bad fall and damaged her right shoulder. She has now discovered that she will need at least one surgery, maybe two, to correct her shoulder.
Sandie is currently on a waiting list for the surgery, which is due to take place in June at the latest. With the recovery period up to six months, it would leave her unable to push herself in her wheelchair.
In order to retain her independence, Sandie is looking to buy a small portable adapter that converts her manual wheelchair into a electric scooter.
She added: “Without this adapter I will literally lose all my independence again and I will be back to having to have someone push me everywhere. I can’t tell you how much this scares me – I’ve come so far mentally and I am in a good place where I’ve accepted the way life looks for me now. Keeping my independence as much a possible is crucial and so this power adapter will be essential, not just for helping me physically but also mentally.”
So far Sandie has raised over £1,000 towards her £2,500 goal.
To donate, go to bit.ly/3cI1lGt
To find out more about how Sandie is dealing with functional neurological disorder, follow her on Instagram @search_for_silver_linings