Cruel disorder leaves teenage girl completely unable to move

Cruel disorder leaves teenage girl completely unable to move

June 7, 2023

Cruel disorder leaves teenage girl completely unable to move… apart from when she’s ASLEEP

  • Sydney teen Chelsea Speirs was diagnosed with FND
  • She cannot talk, walk or move any part of her body 

A teenage girl with big plans for her future has been struck down with a rare disorder that’s left her bedridden, unable to talk, and only able to move her fingers slightly.

Chelsea Speirs, 17, from Sydney’s North Shore, has a condition called functional neurological disorder that’s rendered her immobile.

The debilitating condition occurs when there is a problem between the brain receiving or sending information to the rest of the body. 

‘She is able to move her fingers and her hands slightly,’ Chelsea’s mother, Meredith, told 9News. 

‘She can also very slightly nod or shake her head – so you can get ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers from her; otherwise she has to type it into her phone.’ 

But when she’s asleep, Meredith said her daughter ‘doesn’t stop moving’ in her bed all night. 

Chelsea Speirs (pictured right with her mum Meredith), 17, has been left bedridden, unable to talk, and barely able to move after she was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder

It was only a year ago that Chelsea, who is autistic and has ADHD, was a carefree and healthy teen who attended school and working towards her dream of studying astrophysics.

But her world turned upside down when she caught a gastro bug on June 18, last year. 

While the bug wasn’t particularly serious, lasting only about six hours, it was during the recovery period that Chelsea and her parents realised something was wrong.

The teenager found it difficult to move her lower body, with her mother revealing she was only able to walk ‘if her legs locked in a straight position’. 

She was taken to Hornsby Hospital, where after a series of tests she was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder.

Doctors initially predicted that she would recover in a matter of weeks with physiotherapy. But as the weeks progressed, Chelsea’s symptoms grew worse. ‘

She lost her voice about a month after she was diagnosed with the condition.

Five months after that, her legs became so weak that she had to rely on a wheelchair to get around. 

Chelsea was a carefree and healthy teenager with dreams of studying astrophysics when she was caught a gastro bug, which led to her developing the neurological condition

Six months after she was diagnosed, Chelsea’s legs became so weak that she had to rely on a wheelchair to get around. She has since been brought home by her family

Her condition deteriorated even further in February when she lost all movement in her body following a physiotherapy session. 

She was seen by a number of doctors and specialists over the next months but didn’t regain any movement in that time.  

Despite all she had been through, Chelsea was able to be brought home by her parents only a few weeks ago – just in time to celebrate her birthday. 

She requires two carers to help her while at home, while her parents have set up a laptop with a miniature keyboard so that she can continue her studies.

‘She is still wanting to do astrophysics at university. So I’m like, ‘Okay, go for your life and I’ll just support you and do whatever I can behind the scenes to help you get there.” Meredith said. 

The family have been struggling with costs as Chelsea only receives money for her autism, not for her neurological condition.

The National Disability Insurance Agency explained that this is because they don’t recognise functional neurological disorder as a permanent condition. 

Chelsea’s family have since set up an online fundraiser to help with her medical bills. 

The GoFundMe page for Chelsea can be found here.  

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