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Groom to improve; Brushing bunnies restores owner's use of her hands.

Byline: AMY-CLARE MARTIN

A WOMAN has regained the use of her paralysed hands by lovingly grooming two abandoned bunnies.

Disabled Marley-Belle Quaid adopted long-haired rabbits Woodstock and Wilfred, whose fur - badly matted from shocking neglect - needed frequent brushing and clipping.

Physiotherapy had failed to help her after a series of wrist operations left her wheelchair-bound and unable to use crutches.

Now her wrists are far better after two years of caring for her fluffy pets, rescued by the RSPCA.

She said the grooming long-haired rabbits need was painful for her at first - but found it led to better joint movement. "Within just six months of brushing them I had fully malleable wrists," said Marley, 32.

"My surgeon was astounded I had the use of them again. The bunnies were a huge part of my recovery. They've been life-changing. Before they came I had to use my wheelchair all the time as I could not grip crutches with my hands. So I couldn't go to some shops or other places.

"But now I can now use crutches to get around - and even scissors to cut the rabbits' hair. Woodstock and Wilfred have given me so much more than love. They have given me independence and freedom."

The rabbits have their own bedroom at her flat in Guildford, Surrey, and also play furniture such as hides, jumps and tunnels to simulate warrens.

When Woodstock was found in a bramble bush his bones were misshapen and he struggled to hop but his condition has vastly improved in Marley's care.

RSPCA rabbit expert Dr Jane Tyson said: "This story is a moving example of pets' power to change lives. These amazing rabbits also gave Marley her life back after she gave them a loving home and a happy future."

mirrornews@mirror.co.uk

"The rabbits have given me not just love but also my freedom MARLEY-BELLE QUAID who adopted the pair

CAPTION(S):

HAIR PAIR Rabbits Woodstock & Wilfred

FUR LADY Marley with her two longhaired rabbits

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 17, 2017
Words:332
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