TWO years ago Nicky Muir was lying in a hospital bed paralysed, wondering when she would ever get her life back.
But after overcoming the rare nervous system condition which left her crippled, she is now going to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower.
The 22-year-old is taking on the challenge to raise awareness about Guillain-Barré Syndrome and raise money for a support group.
Nicky, of Heaton Road, Gosport, said: ‘I’ve never done anything like this before so I’m a bit nervous.
‘It came about because I work at the Spinnaker Tower and they are doing a week of abseils for people to raise money for various charities. I mentioned it to my mum and she said I should do it.
‘I’ve always wanted to do something for the Guillain-Barré Syndrome charity but I can’t do a marathon or anything else like that because with Guillain-Barré, even when you are medically better, it takes a longer time to physically recover.
‘So even now I get muscle weakness and can’t do certain things, like running.
‘But an abseil should be okay, although it will still be a challenge physically.’
Nicky first knew something was wrong when she fell ill in July 2009 with a cold that would not go away.
Instead, her condition deteriorated rapidly and she started suffering from pins and needles and muscle weakness.
Soon her body was giving up on her and she could no longer move on her own.
After being rushed to hospital, she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome – which is where a person’s immune system attacks the nervous system instead of the infection and causes paralysis and weakness.
The syndrome is rare and affects only 1,500 people in the UK.
Nicky said: ‘It’s so unheard of, so raising awareness is important to me.
‘When I went into hospital, the doctors and nurses weren’t even sure what it was and thought I may have swine flu.
‘So even in the medical profession, it’s relatively unknown.
‘But any delay in diagnosis means the person just gets more ill.’
Nicky is also keen to raise money for the Guillain-Barré Syndrome Support Group.
She said: ‘The charity helps put you in touch with people who have also had the condition and that really helps.
‘They put me in contact with a woman from the Isle of Wight and it was so reassuring to speak to someone who knew what I was going through.’
Nicky will do her abseil on August 14.
If you would like to sponsor her visit justgiving.com/nicky-muir