LONDON – A 39-year-old IT worker, Richard Jackson, of Portslade, Brighton was left paralysed from the neck down and left in a state of comatose after being served under-cooked chicken in a restaurant in London.
Jackson who spent a lot of time in different London restaurants in December last year, can’t really remember the restaurant he got food poisoned in, but remembers he began feeling ill and was admitted to hospital after eating an under cooked chicken food.
Over the next 48 hours after he was admitted, he lost the ability to swallow and started loosing immobility in his limbs. Doctors discovered his immune system had attacked his spinal cord, leaving him paralysed from the neck down, a severe condition known as Transverse Myelitis.
‘I developed mild food poisoning from under-cooked chicken which triggered a severe rare auto-immune condition leaving me paralysed.
‘I was admitted to St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester as I started having problems being able to walk.
‘I quickly deteriorated and within 24 hours I was unable to use my arms or even swallow. I was delirious and drifting in and out of consciousness.
‘At this point the doctors did not know what was happening but they knew they had to do something quickly.
‘I was moved to intensive care, placed on a ventilator and effectively switched off in a coma for ten days to give myself the best chances of survival and give doctors the time to work out what was happening.’
‘I was given 24-hour nursing care, a private room, daily physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy,’ he said.
Mr Jackson started recovery after attending rehabilitation sessions at Donald Wilson House in Chichester, and then he slowly regained some movement in his arms and feet before he was gradually taken off assisting treatments including a ventilator and feeding tubes.
‘Each mealtime I was winched into a wheelchair and taken to a communal room for meals and to meet the other people there.
‘Physio started immediately. I could only manage a few minutes at first but with all the attention I showed strong signs of recovery.
‘In just under two months they taught me to sit, eat, speak clearly, transfer to wheelchairs by myself, stand brushing my teeth, get into cars from a wheelchair and greatest of all, to be able to walk again.’