Karina makes a miraculous recovery
Albany’s Karina Shaddick with her mother Phyllis Shaddick

After being paralysed only three months ago, unable to walk or talk and told she would spend at least one year in hospital, one young Albany woman has made a miraculous recovery.

In early March, 20-year-old Karina Shaddick was struck down with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disease where the body’s immune system attacks its nervous system.

“I knew something was wrong, the weakness in my legs just kept getting worse, to the point where when I got admitted to hospital I just couldn’t get out of the car,” she said.

“It was scary, I literally couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk.”

After multiple trips to her local general practitioner and Albany Hospital, doctors realised there was something seriously wrong and airlifted her to Sir Charles Gairdner hospital.

Karina’s mother Phyllis Shaddick said seeing her daughter paralysed was “absolutely terrifying”.

“She stopped breathing two weeks after she went to Perth,” she said.

“They had to resuscitate her and she had a punctured lung and pneumonia, she was very lucky to make it.”

Phyllis said the haemoglobin treatment Karina received in hospital made a big difference in her recovery.

“She had one lot of treatment before she stopped breathing and after the second one you could see the difference, she started to move her arms,” Phyllis said.

“Then they gave her a third lot of treatment and you could see more movement each day.”

Health specialists predicted Karina would spend at least 12 months recovering in Perth, but despite the odds, the receptionist returned to Albany a month ago.

Karina said she could not have progressed as well as she did without the support of her mother and boyfriend Zane Gregory who were with her each day.

Karina is now having physiotherapy treatments twice a week but is unstable walking and cannot manage stairs.

“I’m having physio on my shoulder and to strengthen all my muscles again, I start an exercise class in two weeks,” Karina said.

The Shaddick family said they would like to thank everybody that supported them throughout Karina’s illness.

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