Four years ago single mother Jo Gilchrist was told she would never walk again after contracting a life threatening infection from using her friend’s make-up brush.
A staph boil invaded the Queensland mother’s body through a small opening in her skin, leaving her paralysed from the waist down and reliant on a wheelchair.
She was then forced to face the crippling thought of never being able to play with her son, Tommy, who was just three when she was struck down in 2015.
Even after several surgeries to address the infection’s savage attacks on Ms Gilchrist’s spinal cord, surgeons were confident the damage was so bad she would remain in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
In a miraculous turn of events however, Ms Gilchrist defied all odds through gruelling rounds of rehabilitation and amazingly made it back onto her feet.
She had made the pledge one year ago on Nine’s This Time Next Year, promising host Karl Stefanovic she would fulfil her goal to run around with her son once again.
“They didn't think I'd ever walk again. I just said this isn't how my story ends,” she told Stefanovic.
Throughout the year-long challenge, she said she remained focussed on her end goal - her “cheerleader”, Tommy.
Speaking with Stefanovic, she explained she never considered giving up when it was difficult, and had remained committed to living an active, independent life again.
The life-changing event unfolded on February 22, 2015, days after using her friend’s make-up brush. She underwent immediate surgery to remove a CA-MRSA epidural abscess that was strangling her spinal cord from T3-T10.
When she awoke from the procedure, doctors informed her of the catastrophic damage that had been done, and the unlikelihood she would fully recover.
But more than four years later she has proven them all wrong, and finally is back to playing with her son, who said he was “proud” of his “greatest mum ever”.
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