'My life was over' - mother's miracle recovery from horrific spinal injury
PUBLISHED: 11:41 02 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 02 October 2019
When Jen Clements woke up with an excruciating pain in her neck, her immediate worry was having to cancel a dream family holiday.
She later found out the problem left her on the brink of paralysis, but three years on has made a miraculous recovery and her experience has inspired her to help others transform their lives.
The then 32-year-old, from Dereham, had always suffered from neck problems, but thought it particularly unlucky to experience such agony on the morning of a once-in-a-lifetime family holiday, in August 2016.
It later transpired the issue was about to have a much more groundbreaking impact on her life.
"It took six months for anyone to work out what the problem was," said Mrs Clements.
"Eventually they found out I had three slipped discs, which is more common in the back. One was pressing on my spinal chord and I was experiencing unbearable tingling from my top to bottom."
Mrs Clements was referred to a specialist in Wymondham, who gave her the devastating news that her spinal cord was compromised.
"Immediately at that point you think 'that's my life over'," added the mother-of-two.
"My whole world had turned upside down. I physically couldn't move out of my chair.
"I wasn't in a good place mentally, mainly because I knew I couldn't be the mum to my children that I wanted to be. The most I could do was read a story while they sat on my lap."
Mrs Clements was finally gifted a breakthrough last December when she received some unexpected news.
"I kept trying more drugs and was referred to a surgeon, who said I was a prime candidate for spinal fusion surgery. Then I went for a second MRI and the surgeon found two of the discs had healed. To be faced with paralysis and then get that news - I just felt so incredibly lucky."
Now the 35-year-old is enjoying her "second chance" by making up for lost time with family and helping others in her new job as a WW coach.
Mrs Clements said: "This has completely changed my perspective on life. Before I was negative and would wonder why bad things happened to me.
"Now I've overcome something I never thought I would and it's allowed me to become a better role model to my children."