A BOLTON woman said she has been on a “roller coaster journey” after she was left paralysed following a spinal stroke.

Caroline Hall, from Crown Lane, in Horwich, bent down at work and burst nerves in her spinal cord.

Unbeknown to her she had been born with a condition called AVM — a rare, abnormal tangle of blood vessels on, in or near the spinal cord, which could burst at any time.

The RSPCA inspector at first thought she had a ‘crick in her neck’ or had pulled a muscle, but was soon after left fearing for her life.

The 38-year-old said: “I couldn’t move my left side at all.

“I tried to convince myself it wasn’t serious but by the time I was in the ambulance I was petrified.

“I thought I was going to die.

“I had all the things I should have done in life going through my head because I thought it was the end.”

Miss Hall was left paralysed from the neck down, unable to speak or breathe on her own and was in hospital for eight months following the 2012 stroke.

Four years on Miss Hall said she is “unbelievably lucky” to have regained 80 percent movement in her right hand side, but still has no feeling in her left side.

She has been able to regain her independence with the help of charity Aspire who gave her a mobility scooter to move around and she also, unable to work full time anymore, volunteers for Bolton RSPCA as well as Aspire, and speaks to others who have suffered spinal injuries.

She added: “It has been an absolute roller coaster but I have learned a lot especially how good my family and friends are.

“I have an amazing support network and it has brought us all closer.

“It is a new life I have now and a lot has changed but I wouldn’t say it has all changed for the worst.

“I am really lucky to have got the feeling back that I have.

“I don’t expect to get any more feeling back now, so this is me.

“But you just have to get on with it and be thankful for what you do have.”