Body Bug

November 25, 2009 by USA Post 

Determined to get back in the saddle once more, Abby enjoys a visit from her grandfather

Determined to get back in the saddle once more, Abby enjoys a visit from her grandfather

A GIFTED young horsewoman has been paralysed from the neck down after suffering a rare spinal disease which ravaged her body in two hours.

Abby Rout, 20, was enjoying a night out with college friends when her hands and legs went numb.

Soon afterwards, she lost all feeling below her neck. Doctors diagnosed acute transverse myelitis, a rare dis- ease that damages the nerve cells.

The equine studies pupil has been immobile in hospital for six weeks and has been warned she may never walk or ride a horse again.

She said yesterday: “Doctors are still not sure how much I can recover, but I’m trying to remain strong.

“Although I’ve gradually been able to get some feeling on my right side I’m still stuck in bed and cannot walk.

“I’m desperate to be with my family and friends again, and I’m not giving up hope of riding my horse, Pandora.”

Abby, from Banwell, Somerset, was on a night out with friends from Sparsholt College, Southampton, when the tragedy struck.

Her father Andy, 46, a maintenance man and coastguard rescue officer, said Abby was determined to fulfil her dream of becoming a riding instructor.

He added: “It was horrible to see her like that, especially because I couldn’t do anything about it, but I know she’ll pull through.”

Any recovery from acute transverse myelitis usually happens in the first two years.

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