LIFESTYLE

Mum Who Lost Control Of Body And Crashed Car Reveals She Was Struck Down With Rare Neurological Disorder

23/04/2015 12:50 BST | Updated 23/04/2015 12:59 BST

Mum-of-two, Samantha Rawcliffe, was driving in her car on 26 May last year when something terrible happened.

She completely lost control of her body and crashed.

The 40-year-old later found out her accident had been caused by the onset of a rare brain disorder, which would eventually result in her losing the loss in her legs and bladder.

samantha

Rawcliffe, from Morecambe, was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder (FND) shortly after her car accident.

The mother-of-two was not badly injured after the crash, however she found herself uncontrollably shaking and, after losing control of her bladder, she knew something wasn't right.

"It wasn't a bad accident, but I went home shaken and had a drink," she said. "I just couldn't stop shaking. The next day I wet myself and I wet the bed for the next three nights."

After undergoing tests, in September 2014 Rawcliffe was diagnosed with FND, which is an "umbrella term for a variety of symptoms of apparent neurological origin".

The disorder can be as debilitating as Parkinson's disease and MS, while also causing a whole host of other symptoms such as chronic pain, non-epileptic seizures, paralysis, sight problems, cognitive change and speech problems.

SEE ALSO:

Rare Diseases Day: 16 Things You Know When Living With a Chronic Illness (or Three) In Your 20s

Woman 'Pretends To Be Disabled' Due To Rare Condition Body Integrity Identity Disorder

Fish Odour Syndrome: Woman Suffers From Rare Condition That Makes Her Smell Like Rotting Fish

Now, a year after the accident, Rawcliffe still has no feeling in her bladder and says she doesn't know when she needs the toilet or when she's actually urinating.

Sadly there's no sign the feeling will ever return.

Rawcliffe also finds it increasingly difficult to walk much further than eight metres and, as a result, has to rely on a mobility scooter.

Much to her dismay, the former teaching assistant had to give up her job and she has to take 32 tablets a day to quell the choking fits and tremors.

Rawcliffe suffered a mini-stroke during her teens but recovered within three weeks. She also had a car accident 12 years ago, which caused some minor back pain, but aside from that, she's suffered no other issues.

As a result, doctors are unsure what has caused the condition to flare up now.

Story continues below...

21 Rare Diseases

Treatment options for the disorder are limited because little is known about what actually causes it, however it's believed that physical therapy is the most effective route to take.

Rawcliffe says that her life is now incredibly "boring" because she can't even do simple things around the house such as washing, cooking or cleaning.

She lived an active lifestyle prior to being diagnosed and would attend the gym five times a week. She says her job was her life and she never wanted to retire.

"I used to be the life and soul of the party and I've never been a miserable person but there is so much that I can't do and it's hard to take. I end up kind of mourning for the life that I had had before this," she said.

Thankfully, Rawcliffe's husband Phillip, 47, and their two children Rhys, 19 and Rebecca, 17, have been incredibly supportive.

Now, Rawcliffe hopes to raise money for charity FND Hope with a view to boost support for sufferers and raise awareness of the life-altering condition.

[H/T Daily Mail]