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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Carlisle mum with locked-in syndrome back home after three years

A mum-of-two who was diagnosed with locked-in syndrome is back home after three years and now wants to write a book about her experiences.

Nicola Watson photo
Nicola Watson with, from left, daughters Hannah and Emma, husband Neil and friend Louise Hannen

Nicola Watson, of Upperby Road, Carlisle, was a busy mum when one night in July 2009 she suffered a rare type of stroke which left her completely aware and conscious but totally paralysed. She has spent the last three years in hospitals, intensive care units and the Applegarth Nursing Home in Newtown Road in Carlisle.

Now Nicola’s home has been specially adapted, thanks to the fundraising efforts of the people of Carlisle.

Although she still needs 24-hour care, Nicola can now speak and has some movement in her right arm.

She has a remote control system to work the TV, blinds, lighting and heating and receives round-the-clock care from her husband, Neil, a specialist team of carers and her daughters Hannah, 14, and Emma, 13.

Some of the home adaptations were made thanks to a local authority grant but crucial money also came directly from the public.

A fund was also set up by Nicola’s friend, Alison Johnstone, a teaching assistant at Upperby Primary School. This raised about £30,000.

Neil, 48, said: “The people who contributed have allowed us to put in a specially adapted kitchen and will help us to get a specially adapted car. I just want to thank everyone.

“I don’t know if they realise how much they have helped and how much life they have given back to Nic. We are very grateful.”

Nicola, 43, wants to write about her experiences to help others who may feel there is no hope.

She said: “I want to write a book and I’m going to walk.”

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