Bournemouth student paralysed after mystery illness makes her mark in the cyber world

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Slee

A former Bournemouth University student who was partially paralysed has launched a new app which she says was inspired by her recovery. 

Twenty six year old Alejandra Carreno Garzon became seriously unwell while studying five years ago.

She then used the time she was being treated to develop an app called Meixter which connects people who want to learn a new skill with a teacher, or swap skills.

Alejandra said: "An app that can do that one-to-one interaction. It's accessible so that if you don't have that financial resource, but have a skill to give, it provides you with the resource to provide something new."

Alejandra Carreno Garzon became seriously unwell while studying five years ago. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Alejandra used to be a top footballer playing for Bournemouth University, and having previously been on the books of Charlton Athletic.

However it was while studying Industrial Design that she became ill, and spent a long time in hospital.

The recovery process took two years, which gave her time to think about her plan to connect people.  

The Meixter app allows people to swap skills. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A teacher will set up a profile and post a short video, and then students then book an online session from anywhere in the world to learn a skill.

Alejandra said: "My hopes are that people will see that if they have a lifelong condition or temporary medical condition, they can create value and bring positive impact to a community, to their projects, to their passions and to create collaborations with people around them."   The app is also good for the environment because each lesson purchased, triggers a donation to the Eden Reforestation Project, which has so far planted three hundred million trees around the world.