Student whose ‘bad hangover’ was actually a rare condition which left her paralysed and struggling to speak when she was 19 becomes a physio – just like the ‘magicians’ who saved her
- Rachael Bailey, 25, from Nottingham, became paralysed as a student in 2014
- She was clinically determined to have the rare neurological disorder Guillain-Barre syndrome
- This year Miss Bailey earned a first-class honours degree in physiotherapy
A woman whose ‘bad hangover’ turned into a rare condition which left her paralysed is now a physiotherapist after being inspired by those who got her right back on her feet.
Rachael Bailey had been on a particular date as a 19-year-old student when she began to feel a tingling sensation in her feet.
She blamed it on a new couple of heels and, when she still had back pain and tingling legs the morning after, she dismissed it since the result of ‘too much dancing’.
However, the feeling wouldn’t go away and the following day she woke up struggling to move her legs.
Rachael Bailey, 25, whose ‘bad hangover’ turned out to be a rare condition which left her paralysed has become a physiotherapist (left) after being inspired by those who got her right back on her feet. Right: Miss Bailey recovering in hospital
Miss Bailey was airlifted to hospital and diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome which affects a couple of in every 100,000 people
She was airlifted to hospital and clinically determined to have Guillain-Barre syndrome. A neurological disorder which affects only one or two in every 100,000 people, it is where in actuality the immune system attacks the nervous system.
Her condition declined rapidly and after three days she was placed on a ventilator and finally put in a medically induced coma.
Miss Bailey lost the capacity to speak, walk and breathe, and had to talk to doctors by pointing to letters on an alphabet board with her eyes.
But remarkably, after spending 59 days in critical care and 76 days in rehabilitation, she left hospital on her own two feet in March 2015, five months after she was first paralysed.
She hoped to return to Liverpool John Moores University to study criminology and psychology. But after being inspired by the ‘magicians’ who took care of her, she switched to a degree in physiotherapy in her home city Nottingham.
She now has a first-class degree after being tutored by one of many physiotherapists who helped her walk again, and is because of start her dream job at London’s Royal Brompton Hospital in two weeks.
Miss Bailey, now 25, recalled her night out and being taken fully to Nottingham City Hospital. She said: ‘I felt this tingling within my toes and, as I was dancing that evening, my legs felt really heavy.
‘I just thought it was my new high heels. But it was worse the next day and I ended up going to hospital after my legs were so bad I had to crawl out of bed.’
Rachael Bailey earned a first-class degree in physiotherapy following the ‘magicians’ who took care of her inspired her to switch her degree from criminology and psychology
After spending 59 days in critical care and 76 days in rehabilitation, Miss Bailey left hospital on her own two feet in March 2015, five months after she was first paralysed
She recalled waking up from her coma in hospital saying: ‘I remember being angry and frustrated that my life was snatched from me.
‘The first year was a nightmare, I hated every moment of it. Everything I had planned turned upside down and I felt lost.
‘But it was also a good thing to ever happen to me – because I am who I am as a result of it.
‘I’ve worked so hard, also it was so painful, but I’m so proud of myself. I’d never felt anger or pain like I did so back then but it’s given me a new purpose. I can’t wait to begin this new chapter of my life and help the others the way I was.’
Miss Bailey added: ‘I didn’t know much about physios, I thought they just helped footballers and massaged people. But these were like heroes and magicians – I thought what they did was simply incredible and inspiring.’