A WOMAN who developed a rare condition after routine weight management surgery has praised a hospital for the "excellent" treatment she received.

Almost a year to the day, Georgia Garrett had routine gastric sleeve surgery for weight management. During her recovery, Georgia developed a rare kind of peripheral neuropathy - which occurrs when the nerves that are located outside of the brain and spinal cord (peripheral nerves) are damaged.

The 26-year-old said: “My legs began to feel numb and I started falling over more. It got to the point where I couldn’t get up again – that’s when I knew it was serious.”

She was admitted to a ward in Wrexham Maelor for further tests and was assessed and treated by one of The Walton Centre’s Consultant Neurologists’ Dr David Smith. They initially thought it was Guillain-Barré Syndrome, but after treatment, the numbness remained and had started to spread to Georgia’s hands and other parts of her body.

Georgia continued: “Quickly after that I was taken to The Walton Centre for further investigations. It was on Chavasse Ward that they discovered the peripheral neuropathy and started to treat it.”

Georgia was moved to The Walton Centre’s Complex Rehabilitation Unit (CRU), which is also part of the Cheshire and Merseyside Rehab Network, hosted by the specialist Trust.

She spent six months on CRU, and after a high level of multidisciplinary support Georgia has been able to go home to recover further. Georgia also benefited from using a therapeutic tilt table, funded by The Walton Centre Charity.

Denbighshire Free Press: Georgia during her treatment at The Walton CentreGeorgia during her treatment at The Walton Centre (Image: Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust)

Georgia said: “My rehabilitation was intense. But I’m quite social, so being able to get stuck into any group therapy the team would let me, was very much appreciated. At first, because I had lost feeling in my legs and arms, I was worried about falling forwards on my face, which I was a little embarrassed about.

"The therapies teams were excellent at making me feel comfortable and addressing my concerns, to the extent where they gave me an exercise to strengthen my core to prevent me falling forward. Using the tilt table was also fantastic in strengthening my legs and getting me upright for the first few times. I’ve gone from a wheelchair to the treadmill during my time here, I can’t believe it.”

This month Georgia was able to go home to Wrexham and her boyfriend and two dogs, where she will continue to have rehab support and care closer to home.

She said: “I cannot thank The Walton Centre enough. It’s been an extraordinary year, and to be able to have the specialist rehabilitation available to me has made an incredible difference to my recovery.

"Everyone involved in my care, from the domestic staff to the different nursing and therapies teams, you have put my life back on track. It’s slow going, but I’ll keep going and get to my goal of walking again.”