Attacked mum faces Christmas in hospital

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THE family of a mother left paralysed after a street attack has been told she will spend Christmas in hospital.

Claire Hilton, 28, suffered a broken neck and severe spinal injuries in an assault as she made her way home along Rectory Bank, West Boldon, in the early hours of June 11.

The attack is believed to have been sparked over an earlier row about a spilt drink in The Wheatsheaf pub, where she had been socialisng with family and friends.

A man has appeared in court charged with attacking the telesales worker.

The mum-of-one was left on a life support machine, paralysed from the chest down, and is being treated at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital, where her family say her condition is “improving slowly”.

Her father, Paddy Hilton, said his daughter’s recovery is expected to take a long time.

“Claire’s condition is improving slightly every week, but it is going to take a long time.

“She is going to be in hospital definitely until after Christmas.

“Claire has had a little bit of movement in one of her legs, which is a good sign, but we are not pinning our hopes on anything.”

He added: “At the moment, Claire is feeling really good in herself, which is good.”