Katrina Belle, 28, was started to experience sudden episodes of memory loss which progressed to non-epileptic seizures and temporary paralysis in July 2021 – she now hopes to go to the US for treatment
A “healthy” woman has been left unable to leave her bed after being hit with paralysis, seizures and memory loss.
Katrina Belle was working at a spa and living a normal life until she was struck with sudden episodes of memory loss which progressed to non- epileptic seizures and temporary paralysis in July 2021.
The 28-year-old has been told she has Functional Neurological Disorder and can now no longer work or even leave her bed.
Katrina says she began to feel ill last summer – when she hadn’t had a cold for three years.
Her symptoms began with brain fog and rashes but then progressed to terrifying episodes of complete memory loss, MyLondon reports.
One day when she was walking, she experienced her first bout.
She said: “I was just so confused. [I thought] ‘Where am I walking?’ I was looking around and I was trying to recognize the place.
“I just couldn’t recognize it and I was having a moment of panic. I’ve walked this way like 1,000 times, but I couldn’t remember where I was walking.”
By August, she tried to go on holiday but her fatigue and memory loss meant she faced obstacles at the airport.
She said: “I went to the airport – I was so not with it – I missed four flights and I left my suitcase on the train.”
Katrina says she was suffering a terrifying internal struggle.
She added: “I looked like I was having fun and coping but, I was really struggling, like really struggling.”
When she returned to London, Katrina’s mental health plummeted because of her symptoms.
She says she even cut off communication with her friends.
She explained: “I deleted Instagram, I deleted all social media, I didn’t reply to anyone and for two weeks, I was just in my bed. It was so bad.”
In an attempt to improve her mental health, she joined a gym but by November she experienced her first episode of paralysis and she was found on the floor, unable to move or speak.
An ambulance was called and she was rushed to the hospital for MRI and CAT scans.
Doctors initially thought she had had a stroke but, combined with her other symptoms, she was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder.
The NHS says that symptoms can include loss of motor control, sensory symptoms, speech problems, attacks or seizures, visual symptoms and cognitive problems.
It is called functional symptoms because they affect the “function” of the body rather than being caused by damage to the “structure” of the nervous system, according to the NHS.
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Katrina was sent to physiotherapy to combat the symptoms and underwent multiple tests and attempts at physio before she was discharged from the hospital.
Since then, however, Katrina has developed more debilitating symptoms including an aversion to some foods, blood in her ears, sensitivity to sounds and temporary paralysis on nine separate occasions.
She said: “I’ve had nine paralyses, like, full-body… have been found on floors, like in the kitchen, at my friends… [One time] I was stuck outside by a station at night. I just couldn’t walk anymore.
“And there were strangers just looking at me, like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then my friends picked me up. Just so many of those times and it’s been so scary.”
She added: “I feel like screaming anytime. I just feel like screaming.”
Katrina has created a GoFundMe page to go to a Regenerative Medical Clinic in Los Angeles, California, to receive custom stem cell treatments, specific to her needs.
She admits she will struggle to handle the 14-hour flight but is desperate for help.
Katrina explained: “I just feel like it’s getting worse, per month, and I’m just worried. And I’m just scared.”
However, the clinic costs £3,000 per day as she hopes she can raise enough money to be able to regain the life of a twenty-something-year-old.
Speaking about how badly she wants the treatment, Katrina said: “It would mean my happiness. I would get my happiness back.
“I wouldn’t scare my family anymore because they’re petrified of seeing me like this.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.