Sarah Ross, a nurse practitioner at a GP in Pallion can no longer stand without standing aids and has complete paralysis down her right side after suffering a shock stroke.
Sarah - mum to daughters Amelia, 5, and Isabella, 3 – says this Christmas will be ‘a little sad’ as family traditions cannot be continued due to her condition.
Sarah suffered the stroke on Father’s Day in June after putting her children to bed and sitting down to eat tea with her husband James before she was rushed to Sunderland Royal Hospital.
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The 37-year-old is now restricted to the downstairs area of her family home where she sleeps, eats and washes and will not be able to return to work as a nurse following the medical episode.
Previous festive traditions saw family visiting Sarah and James’ house as Sarah would cook dinner on Christmas day.
Sarah said: “I feel sad this Christmas because we can’t do the things we used to do – I’ve completely lost my independence and I miss being a mam.
"I don’t know who I am now and I’m fearful of the future because I feel like I have let people down, I can’t look after the people I used to make sure were OK.”
Sarah’s husband James has been raising money to give his wife ‘a better quality of life’ by revamping the house to include a wet room, toilet and staircase lift.
James said: “She has been struggling because the stroke was such a shock and her life has changed so drastically. She feels like she can’t be a mam because she can only move around in her wheel chair and she can’t put her children to bed and kiss them goodnight.
"It’s bitter sweet because we have to say goodbye to old Christmas traditions but we’re going out for Christmas dinner this year so it’s the start of new ones.”
James added: “It’s hit us all at once but we continue to do things as a family and we’re trying to stay positive.”
You can donate to James' fundraiser by visiting https://bit.ly/2UPKg96