Brit who feared she’d never walk again after autoimmune disorder celebrates recovery

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A BRIT who feared she would never walk again after being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease has celebrated taking her first steps in over a year.

Jill Marsden, 43, from Silsden, West Yorkshire was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) last year.

Last Tuesday, on the anniversary of her diagnoses, Jill remarkably celebrated her recovery from the disease after walking down Blackpool North Pier.

The Brit celebrating her recovery - Health News UK
The mum of four has recovered well.                                                                            (C) Jill Sanders

Posting to Facebook Jill said: “A year ago I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome and I was in a wheelchair.

“I promised myself I would walk down the North pier in heels one day today is that day.”

Photos on the post show Jill in her wheelchair after her diagnosis, while more recent images show her smiling on Blackpool North Pier and celebrating with a glass of Prosecco.

The 43-year-old had first noticed symptoms in June and was diagnosed in August last year after noticing tingling in her fingers, and toes that she thought was a trapped nerve in her neck.

The symptoms got worse and when Jill couldn’t swallow, her partner called 101 and the couple rushed to A&E. 

After an MRI, extensive tests and visits to the hospital and doctors, the mum of four diagnosed with a rare strain of GBS on August 3 2020.

Jill spent months relying on her daughter and husband for basic everyday tasks and couldn’t walk or push herself in the wheelchair. 

The mum spent months in a wheelchair - Health News UK
The rare auto-immune disease left the Brit wheelchair bound.                                                 (C) Jill Marsden

After months of struggling the business owner received Immunoglobulin Therapy, an antibody drug usually used to treat Leukemia in children. 

After months of struggle Jill amazingly celebrated her incredible recovery on Tuesday by walking down Blackpool Pier and having a glass of fizz with her husband.

Speaking today Jill said: “Last July I noticed my little finger on my right hand was tingling. 

“I didn’t think much of it. I had assumed I had trapped a nerve in my neck.

“A few days in, it had started in my ring finger. The tingling then went to my other hand and my little toes.

“The most frightening thing was the total absence of pain. If I had been in pain I could have understood what was happening better. 

“I was terrified I had googled GBS and although my symptoms matched most of the information was about rapid onset GBS.

“I made myself the promise that I wouldn’t stop working no matter how much pain. 

“My legs swelled to the point they were hot to the touch then so cold my legs were white. 

“But little by little I made a very quick recovery. The normal is 12 to 18 months before any progress is made.

“I pushed myself to get better. I had my first granddaughter on the way and I was no going to let this stupid degrading syndrome stop me holding her. 

“About February this year I said goodbye to the chair for good. Fatigue is a huge problem.

“I still tire easily now but I listen to my body and rest when I have to.

The strong mum on North Pier - Health News UK
A year after being diagnosed the incredible mum walked down Blackpool’s North Pier in Heels. (C) Jill Marsden

“My then partner took me to Blackpool for the day complete with a stick and my wheelchair and we went on the North pier. 

“I still have residuals and new nerves are still coming back everyday. We walked down to the end of the North pier and had a glass of fizz.

“I’m amazed by the reaction my little story has had. But I’ve a way to go but that was my big milestone.”

The post collected over 2000 likes and hundreds of comments from well wishing strangers. 

One user said: “What an achievement, you’re looking lovely and happy.” 

Another praised the mum saying: “Wow amazing.” 

While another added: “Wow, you go girl. That takes strength of character and total determination, well done.” 

GBS is a rare, autoimmune disorder in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerves.