Woman confined to wheelchair after flu injection becomes face of campaign

A Melbourne woman who has been confined to a wheelchair since a flu injection three years ago has become the face of the St Vincent de Paul CEO Sleepout campaign.

Mother of three teenage girls, Kathy Jones suffered a devastating viral reaction so rare she does not qualify for a disability allowance.

The 45-year-old was rushed to hospital in April 2015, where she later learned she had contracted the incredibly rare Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) – a disorder that causes the immune system to attack the nervous system resulting in paralysis.

Doctors informed Ms Jones that she had a “one in a million” chance of contracting the rare disorder from an influenza vaccine.

Mother of three Kathy Jones suffered a devastating viral reaction so rare she does not qualify for a disability allowance. Source: 7 News

The brave mum now relies on the St Vincent de Paul home service to survive.

“No matter how hard we try, we’re always faced with something that makes it even more difficult,” she told 7 News.

The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is a one-night event held each year across Australia.

During the event, hundreds of CEOs, business owners, and community and government leaders sleep outdoors for one long, cold night.

The goal is to raise thousands of dollars to provide essential services to the people who need them.

Kathy Jones relies on St Vincent De Paul to survive. Source: 7 News

In 2017, participants raised $5.6 million to help out people who are doing it tough.

This year the event is being held on June 21.  For more information or to register, go to The Vinnies CEO Sleepout website.