Mum left disabled in freak supermarket trolley crash as son becomes her carer aged just 5

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Life as she knew it for Josephine Kalagira, 38, from Ipswich, changed when she popped into her local shop to pick up some yoghurt

Her amazing son has stepped up to help her around the home.
Jayden has stepped up to help mum Josephine

A mum who was injured in a freak accident involving a supermarket trolley has revealed her incredible five-year-old son became her carer.

Josephine Kalagira, 38, from Ipswich, popped into her local shop to pick up some yoghurt on 21 April 2017 but life as she knew it changed.

As she bent down to pick up her favorite flavor of yoghurt, she was struck by a large goods trolley which rolled over her right foot, causing her to loose her balance and twist her foot and ankle.

Her son Jayden, then five, was terrified to see his mother in agony, and Josephine quickly gathered her things and limped away.

But when pain killers did little to help, she became concerned and ended up in A&E, where she was sent home and advised to rest.

72 hours later she was back in hospital, her ankle still in pain, and given crutches to help her walk.

But the pain never went – ​​and Josephine has slowly had to accept that she may never be able to move freely again.







Jayden and Josephine in 2017 prior to the injury
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Five-year-old Jayden became his mum’s carer
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While she has seen various medical professionals since the accident, none have been able to give her a time scale for her recovery.

Her amazing son has stepped up to help her around the home.

Doctors confirmed she was suffering with chronic pain from a condition called Neurological Functional Disorder (NFD) with symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) – which has majorly affected her mobility.

She was given a wheelchair as she struggled to move about in October 2019 when walking became increasingly difficult and had led to numerous falls and injuries.







Josephine shortly after the accident in 2017
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Josephine having a cast put on
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For the single mum, this has meant accepting help from her little boy. Jayden, now 10, had no choice but to rise to the occasion, becoming his mum’s unofficial carer.

He helped Josephine with everything from opening the heavy doors to their home, assisting her when she fell over due to her mobility issues, helping her get dressed and apply creams, and help her in and out of the bathroom when she felt faint.

Josephine said: “He struggled to sleep and concentrate as he did not know whether I would be alive.

“When I struggled to get from one room to another, he was helping to make me a sandwich and a drink and bring it to the bedroom. This was so distressing not only for me but for him too.







Josephine has slowly had to accept that she may never be able to move freely again
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JamPress)







Josephine and Jayden in 2016 before the accident
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“I was on strong medications which were not helping me to focus or concentrate other than wanting to sleep all the time because the only way I could manage my pain was to take the medication which had a lot of side effects.”

In February 2019, she was also assigned a personal assistant via a care agency to help with her care – enabling her and Jayden to start living more independently.

Josephine hasn’t been able to set foot in a supermarket since the tragedy, and her mental health continued to deteriorate in the years after the incident as she suffered from severe depression.







Josephine pictured in hospital
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She said: “I was fully aware that my mental health was being aggravated by my physical challenges not being able to stabilize unaided and this was impacting my ability to be a mum to my wonderful son.

“I was all over again reminded that it had not been that I went shopping that day, all of this would never have happened.

“My job contract was terminated at this point which meant that I was starting to struggle financially.

“My social life had collapsed and was left with no support system other than the one that was criticizing and judging me without not knowing what was really going on in my personal life.







Her health deteriorated following her fall
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Due to her injury, Josephine was shifting her weight towards her uninjured foot, causing her additional issues with posture and pain
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“With having a long distant family in Uganda, I thought this cannot be happening to me, I would better be off dead than being here.

”Luckily, she found solace in an online community, Mums in Business, where she met other women who supported and encouraged her to keep going – and helped her land business opportunities, including work as a motivational speaker sharing her story and inspiring other people to find help and support.

She said: “I now have a great group of women and mums I resonate with and can count on. On top of that, there have been so many opportunities within MIB that have been life changing for me.







Jayden helping Josephine dress after the injury
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While still in a wheelchair and struggling with physical challenges, her mental health improved tremendously and she went on to write and co-author three books – two of which became best sellers.

Josephine said: “Although my mobility and physical challenges have not improved, I have a clearer understanding of what’s happening to me and my body and I still have my wheelchair which means I can manage to go around the blocks with my son.







Josephine with her first book in November 2020
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Josephine with all three of her published books
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“It breaks my heart every single day realizing how life can change in just a blink of an eye. I mean, how could shopping be so dangerous? It’s been five years now but it feels like this injury happened yesterday.

“Having had to do constant inner healing work, learning and developing myself, I am so proud to say that my son is so proud of me.

“Last year on World Book Day he was able to save a bit of chores money to buy a dress that he had kept as a secret until the last minute to dress up as me because I inspired him and he did not want to dress up as anyone else.

“I was moved by this act and recognition. He inspires me to never give up no matter the circumstance.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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