'My life's been taken away' - Gelligaer woman, 30, left paralysed from waist down while having bath

Jessica Ennis, 30, became paralysed from the waist down while having a bath Credit: BPM Media / Media Wales

A Gelligaer woman said she felt like her 'life had been taken away' after becoming paralysed from the waist down while having a bath.

Jessica Ennis had to be pulled out of the bath by her mother and taken to hospital by paramedics on the morning of 21 June.

The 30-year-old told her two daughters just minutes before that she would be having a bath before taking them to nursery.

Mrs Ennis was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND), a sudden condition which causes problems with how the brain receives and sends information to the body.

Jessica in hospital with her husband Conan Credit: BPM Media/Media Wales

FND can cause serious arm and leg weaknesses, as well as seizures.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes around four to 12 people in every 100,000 will get FND.

"I felt completely numb when they told me – like my life had been taken away," Mrs Ennis said of finding out her diagnosis.

“I just want to be a mum again, I want to be a wife again, and I want to be Jess again."

Jessica, who is now confined to a bed at Ystrad Mynach Hospital, said she is now suffering at least two seizures a day and that doctors say she could spend the rest of her life as a wheelchair user.

She says she began to feel unwell last August with an 'unexplainable pain'.

Jessica Ennis during happier times with Conan and her two daughters, Cassidy and Savannah Credit: BPM Media/ Media Wales

"Then in the November overnight I’d gone blind in my left eye which the doctors diagnosed as optic neuritis. I began to adapt to life with that but then my skin also began almost burning in a horrific pain," Mrs Ennis said."I began to have splitting migraines, my limbs began to feel very heavy – almost too heavy to move – and most days I could barely stay awake.

"I had various tests but nothing showed up. I was then told I had fibromyalgia and life continued like this for another six months."

Jessica had turned 30 just days before becoming paralysed, saying that she had been up all night.

The next morning, she told her two daughters she would be having a bath for 10 minutes.

"At 7.10pm, I got in the bath and by 7.20pm I was paralysed from the waist down. I couldn’t move my legs at all," she said.

"It was terrifying. I called my mum who came around and dragged me out of the bath before an ambulance got to us. That was the last time I saw my own home."

Jessica at home with her two daughters, husband, and stepson Caylan Credit: BPM Media/Media Wales

Jessica says her symptoms have since worsened and that she now stutters, has spasms in her right arm and is unable to feed herself due to her hands shaking.

However, she said she’s been "overwhelmed" by the support of those who have helped her fundraise to have her home modified in time for her eventual discharge from hospital to begin a new life.

So far, a GoFundMe has raised more than £1,100.

She added: "I can’t thank everyone enough for what they’ve done for me to raise that money.

"I can’t even think about it without crying. All the money raised will help me get home.

"As a family, we can’t afford the work that needs to be done to make the house accessible for me now.

"It’ll help me get a wheelchair lift, a wet room, and a bedroom downstairs so I can be back with my kids and my husband."Mrs Ennis added that the "only thing" keeping her going is the need to get home to her family.

She said: "We’ve never been apart before and I’ve already missed out on so much.

"Saying goodbye to them after they visit is the hardest thing about this situation – much harder than accepting I’ll likely never walk again."

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