A UK mother-of-four has been paralysed from the eyes down after contracting coronavirus, with doctors now fearful she may never recover.
Ayesha Hussein, from Cambridge, developed the virus at Christmas, beginning with a cough, losing her sense of taste and smell, and experiencing breathing issues.
By December 29, her condition had worsened and the 55-year-old was rushed by ambulance to Addenbrooke Hospital. Two days later she was put on a ventilator.
A week after that, Ms Hussein’s condition was dire: Her temperature spiked to 42C before she fell into a coma – a coma she remains in today.
Baffled by Ms Hussein’s condition, the doctors consulted a neurologist who found that COVID-19 had affected her brain stem, paralysing her from the eyes down and making it impossible for her to move, talk or listen.
A few days later, her heart stopped and doctors managed to save her life. But they told Ms Hussein’s family they needed to consider the possibility of instructing her medical team not to resuscitate should her condition worsen again.
Ms Hussein’s daughter Mina told the Cambridge News: “We just want our mum back. Doctors say she’s going to be disabled but we don’t care what state she’s in.
“The doctors said you need to consider the possibility of ending her life. They asked if she has a cardiac arrest again do you want us to resuscitate her and we said yes.”
Mina said her mother was healthy and active before she contracted COVID.
“I wish people could see what this has done to my mum,” she said.
“She was completely happy and healthy and it’s destroyed her life. It’s taken her for a complete 360.”
Adding to the family’s heartache, while in hospital, thieves broke into Ms Hussein’s home and stole her car and jewellery.
“It was more pain I didn’t need,” Mina said.
Hopeful to bring her mum home one day, Mina has started fundraising to pay her Ayesha’s bills and rent. Since launching a GoFundMe page, she has raised more than $12,000.
The money will also be used to support her mum if she is able to leave hospital.