Mum who woke up paralyzed overnight still doesn’t know why over a year later


When Lisa Harris collapsed one morning, she had no idea that she would be the last time she would ever be able to walk – now 14 months on she still has no idea why

Lisa's mystery degenerating condition has already robbed her hearing and is now taking her vision
Lisa’s mystery degenerating condition has already robbed her hearing and is now taking her vision

A young mum who woke up unable to walk says she still doesn’t know why or how she became paralyzed ‘overnight’, more than a year later.

Lisa Harris, 28, had a funny walk for years but had lived a healthy and normal life until December 2020 when she woke up one morning and collapsed.

Since that day she has become a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair, she has lost her hearing and is now also losing her vision.

But the mum of two, from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, claims that baffled doctors still can’t tell her what is causing the degenerating nerve damage, which at one point saw her begging her family to help end her life.

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Lisa continues to try and learn to walk with the help of her parents

Lisa now receives around the clock care from her fiancée, Luke

Lisa told the Mirror: “It did more or less happen overnight.

“I’d noticed my legs felt a little weaker than usual for a while and my balance was worse.

“I stood up to go to the bathroom while holding on to my partner and literally just hit the floor.

“I’ve not been able to stand or walk since.

“The nerve damage has now spread and I have very minimal hand function, my hearing is more or less gone and my optic nerve is dead so my sight is also going.”

Lisa was so devastated by the blow that she even begged her family to let her die, but is now sharing her story to help break disability stigma

Lisa was able to go shopping, go out and play with her children before she became paralyzed overnight

Lisa, who is a mum to Leo, eight, and Luna, two, with fiancée Luke, 28, was left so devastated by her paralysis that she felt suicidal.

She said: “I spent around six months praying every night that I wouldn’t wake up the next day, at my lowest I’ve even begged my loved ones to help me end my life.

“I just wanted to be ‘put out of my misery’ so to speak.

“I’ve been through a really dark time but I’m trying to overcome it.”

In 2012 Lisa was diagnosed with a B12 deficiency and Addison’s Disease which affects the adrenal gland which releases hormones into the body.

The mum’s condition has baffled doctors so far, who have been unable to give her a full diagnosis over a year later

She noticed problems in her feet and knees, where she was unable to bend them leaving her with a ‘funny walk’.

Although she was experiencing some pain, she claimed it was manageable and had quarterly injections to boost her B12.

In the days before her collapse she noticed her legs were weaker than usual but never anticipated that she would soon wake up and become paralyzed.

Since then, she has undergone numerous tests to find the cause, but claims that 14 months on, she still has no answers.

Lisa now struggles to leave the house at all but is determined to find answers and get closure

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She said: “I’ve lost count of the tests I’ve had in all honesty.

“I’ve had bloods, nerve conduction studies, MRI/CT scans, lumbar punctures.

“They’re not sure if it’s genetic or not yet.

“It’s frustrating more than anything, if or when I have a diagnosis, no matter what the outcome, it will just be a relief and closure.

“But at the same time, it is absolutely terrifying if it is genetic because of the children.”

Now Lisa is awaiting the results of genetic testing which will show whether her parents were carriers of a gene malformation which is causing her issues.

Despite everything, she remains determined to regain some independence and with the help of Luke and her parents continue to try and learn to walk again.

The brave mum is also sharing her story on Instagram in a bid to break the stigma around disability following her own mental battle to come to terms with her situation.

To follow her journey, click here

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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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