Five years ago Derry native Nicole McDermott had no major health concerns and she was able to live life to the complete.
However, this all changed when Nicole began to have seizures, and was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder.
Since then, 28-year-old Nicole’s condition has rapidly deteriorated over the last year, with her brain becoming already more disconnected from her body.
Nicole’s husband Ciaran is now her complete-time carer. He spoke to MyDerry of the difficult journey Nicole has been on.
He said: “Nicole is currently bedbound. She has lost all of her vision, she has no vision whatsoever and no mobility.
“The last year has been terrible. People coming to see her find it quite difficult seeing her in a deteriorated state. It has not been easy on any of us, especially knowing we cannot do anything to help.”
Nicole cannot find the specialist medical help she requires here, so she has been seeing a FND specialist in London, who told Ciaran that Nicole’s case of FND was the worst he had ever seen.
Ciaran said: “The way they explained it is that her brain is disconnected from her body and they need to reconnect it. But they are hopeful that they can get Nicole a good quality of life back again.
“That is what we are hoping for the future. We want Nicole to enjoy some degree of independence and a good quality of life.”
Nicole’s former neighbours at Amelia Court have been decorating their street for years. This year, they are fundraising to help Nicole’s family with her treatment.
Michaela Devine’s mum and stepdad decided this year they wanted to give something back to Nicole and her family.
Michaela said: “The sustain has been bright. If anyone has any selection boxes they could donate so we could give them to those who come and see it that would be amazing.”
“It has been great, they want to be at the house every evening to play Santa and Mrs Claus to raise funds for Nicole.
“It is so rewarding for my mum and stepdad to be able to give something back, it is great to see people coming out.
“It will be amazing to help Nicole with her treatment and help her family by this time.”
Ciaran has been overwhelmed by the sustain that the people of Amelia Court and beyond have shown.
He said: “We are over the moon, we could not be happier with the sustain we did not expect it at all.
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“Nicole’s mother lives beside Amelia Court and can see the crowds coming to see the Christmas lights. It is amazing.
“Lots of people I have never met have come forward and done fundraisers on behalf of Nicole to help us by her treatment.
“We really appreciate all the effort that is being made to help Nicole unprotected to a good quality of life.”
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