Oak Flats mum paralysed after giving birth

Last year, Jessie Bruton was looking forward to moving into her first home, embarking on a career as a fitness instructor and the birth of her third child - then paralysis set in.

From early in her pregnancy, the Oak Flats mother started to lose feeling in her legs and feet but once the numbness spread to her stomach, stopping her from feeling contractions, specialists recommended an emergency caesarean.

Baby Klay was born four weeks premature in good health on November 1 but when Mrs Bruton woke up after the procedure, she could not walk. The scans she'd not been able to have while pregnant revealed extensive nerve damage in her spine - and doctors don't know if she'll ever be able to walk unaided again.

It won't be for want of trying. The 26-year-old, who qualified as a fitness instructor just before falling pregnant, is now putting all her energy into rehabilitation.

"I've been doing physio or hydrotherapy five days a week but still the furthest I've been able to walk is 200 metres," she said. "I've got two mobility walkers to get around at home and a wheelchair when I go out, and so much support from my husband, family and friends.

"I try and stay positive but the hardest thing for me is that I can't look after my boys on my own because if something happened, I wouldn't be able to get to them quick enough. And I haven't been able to carry my new baby around, something you take for granted as a mother."

Mrs Bruton her husband, Michael, and boys Levi, 6, Nash, 2, and Klay cannot move into their new home, which has stairs, and are living with her parents.

"I've lost my independence and I find it hard to ask people for help - but I have to," she said.

"As well as numbness in my legs and feet, I have severe nerve pain from the back down and extreme sensitivity to hot and cold. No-one can tell me how disabled I'm going to be for the rest of my life."

Mrs Bruton may not return to work at Rekreate Fitness at Coniston but she knows her colleagues are behind her. They are running a raffle to help fit her car with hand controls. 

To help, contact info@rekreatefitness.com.au.

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