Brave mother battles rare Miller-Fisher syndrome

A brave mother has relived the horror of becoming completely paralysed – even down to her eyelids, which were fixed open – within days of developing a chest infection.

Laura Rawlinson, 36, was at home in Crawley, West Sussex, with her daughter Ella, then nine months old, in May 2019 when she started feeling unwell.

She thought it would pass, but 10 days later she woke with double vision. Things deteriorated rapidly and Laura raced to East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, where she soon became unable to speak or walk.

Her husband James, 35, rushed home from a business trip in Italy to be by her side as doctors diagnosed her with Miller-Fisher syndrome (MFS) – a form of Guillain-Barre syndrome, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the nervous system.

Nine months on and having spent £20,000 – a combination of savings and money lent by loved ones – on Laura's care and adaptations to the family home, the couple have launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for her rehabilitation.