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Woman left in wheelchair with rare condition after her legs went numb while watching wrestling on TV; Emily Overton was suffering from Spinal AVM which disrupts blood flow in the body and deprives cells of oxygen causing them to deteriorate or die.

Byline: Amardeep Bassey

A woman was left paralysed from the pelvis down as she watched late-night wrestling on TV with her boyfriend.

Emily Overton found she couldn't stand up to go to bed after watching WWE last summer because her legs had gone numb.

It later emerged she was suffering from a rare condition that has left her in a wheelchair.

"I tried to stand up to go to bed but I couldn't get up -- I couldn't feel my legs," said the 23-year-old.

Her boyfriend, Josh Reed-Osborne, carried her into the bedroom, but she soon realised that she had also become incontinent, reportsGrimsbyLive.

She dialled 111 and was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary where she was diagnosed with what's known as Robin Hood syndrome 10 hours later.

Emily of Ulceby in Grimsby, said: "I was in A&E for 10 hours before they'd figured out what was wrong with me."

Emily was told she has spinal arteriovenous malformations (AVM), a rare abnormal tangle of blood vessels on, in or near the spinal cord.

Spinal AVM disrupts blood flow in the body and deprives cells of oxygen, causing cells in the spinal tissue to deteriorate or die.

Following her diagnosis, Emily was transferred a specialist spinal unit at Pinderfields General Hospital, in Wakefield.

She is paralysed from the pelvis down and relies on a wheelchair to get around.

She said: "I didn't understand what AVM was when leaving Hull -- it was described to me but in medical terms.

"It wasn't until I got to Pinderfields when a consultant described it as the Robin Hood syndrome that I started to understand it.

"He said I have extra, abnormal arteries and veins that steal blood to give to other areas in my body."

Symptoms usually develop in a person's twenties, but almost 20 per cent of people diagnosed with it are under 16.

The cause is unknown, but most spinal AVMs are present at birth while others occur later in life.

Symptoms can be sudden or gradual and include:

As the condition progresses, more symptoms can develop:

Emily said: "It is such a rare condition - most people have never heard of it. The worry is because it is so rare, people are less likely to support research surrounding it.

"I am planning a charity walk on Sunday, July 21, to raise awareness and money for The Butterfly AVM Charity."

Between check-ups, Emily has discovered a passion and outstanding talent for shooting.

She is preparing for try-outs with the GB Paralympics team -- where, if successful, she could compete in the 2020 Paralympic Games.

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"People who have recently been diagnosed with AVM are invited to try out for wheelchair sports and I decided to have a go at everything to see whether I was interested in any and good at any," said Emily.

"I tried out at shooting -- something I never thought I'd be interested in or any good at -- and I got 93 out of 100. I was so shocked. I beat some people who have been in the army.

"Although I know something bad has happened to me, I have discovered an element of good in the form of shooting.

"To make it through to the Paralympics would be amazing, but I'm just excited to see where the next few weeks take me."

For more information about Emily's charity walk in aid of The Butterfly AVM Charity,click here.

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Emily Overton with her boyfriend Josh Reed-Osborne

Emily Overton suddenly became paralysed from the pelvis down while watching TV
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Publication:Chester Chronicle (Chester, England)
Date:Jul 1, 2019
Words:592
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