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Student rebuilds life after being paralysed by rare condition
A YOUNG woman is rebuilding her life after being left so paralysed by a rare medical condition that she could not even blink.
Emily Thompson spent ten days being unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy as she battled back from the brink of death.
The 20-year-old from Newton Hall, County Durham, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder, after noticing a numbness in her hands and feet.
The disease, which affects just one in 100,000 people and attacks the lining of the nerves, left every part of her body paralysed, including her eyelids.
Her family were told to prepare for the worst when she caught pneumonia and spent five weeks on a ventilator and a further two weeks in intensive care.
While locked in her body, Miss Thompson dreamed she travelled to Las Vegas, that her dad was a millionaire and that she was taking part in Big Brother. When she woke up, she thoughts her dreams were reality.
But the former dancer, who is training to be a social worker at Sunderland University, has now made an amazing recovery and taken her first steps after ten weeks in hospital.
She said: "Not being able to move was terrifying. I could not talk, I wanted to die. When you are like that you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.
"I feel really lucky to be getting better now, and have made such a good recovery.
"The dreams were bizarre, I had them during a ten-day period while I was in intensive care. I couldn't tell what was real and what wasn't real.
"One day I woke up in hospital thinking I'd been out the night before and had a hangover.
"Another time, I dreamed my dad had won the lottery. I thought he had bought me the Metro Centre in Gateshead.
"When I woke up the next morning I thought, 'why can't I just go home and have nurses come to the house, and have private healthcare, now we have all this money'."
She added: "I am starting to take my first steps, and doctors say I will make a full recovery. To say I am relieved would be an understatement."
Mother Carolyn, 51, father David, 49, sister Victoria, 29, and brother Michael, 27, kept a bedside vigil worried that she would not make it.
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