Telford beautician, 26, left paralysed from the waist down after ‘doctors sent her home with acid reflux’

For a healthy and vibrant 26-year-old beautician from Telford, the world was her oyster. Yet in the blink of an eye, it all came crashing down when she was given a life-changing diagnosis.

In the midst of the pandemic, Jodie Cox felt pain and a twinge in one side of her back. Following a trip to A&E, doctors reportedly told her it could be caused by kidney stones and she was sent home with a simple diagnosis of acid reflux.

The pain became excruciating, so the salon manager made another visit to the accident and emergency department. Again she claims she was sent home.

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Suddenly one night on January 21, 2021, a panic-stricken Jodie and her boyfriend, Luke Watson, made another trip to the hospital after struggling to stand steadily. Recalling the terrifying ordeal Luke, 28, told BlackCountryLive: “One night she started to lose feeling in her legs di lei so I took her to A & E, she was stumbling into the hospital and I had to support her. She never walked back out of A&E.

Jodie Cox once had an active lifestyle and loved going for walks and spending time with friends and family

“She was transferred to Oswestry Hospital where they discovered a tumor in her spine.”

Jodie was given the devastating news that she had an aggressive type of osteosarcoma – a form of bone cancer. Within 18 hours she lost all feeling in both legs and was paralyzed from the waist down. The cancer had led to a T10 incomplete spinal cord injury. Medics also found small tumors in her lung di lei.

The once active and fun-loving 26-year-old, who loved walking her mother-in-law’s dogs, now faced the prospect of never being able to walk again. Due to strict coronavirus restrictions, she was alone when she received the diagnosis.

Beautician, Jodie Cox, has been left paralyzed from the waist down after 'doctors initially sent her home with acid reflux'
Jodie Cox, 26, and her boyfriend Luke Watson, 28, who gave up his job in construction to become her full-time carer

Her partner, who has since given up his job as a contractor to care for her, said: “It all happened very fast. She FaceTimed me and my mum to tell us about the tumor then we didn’t hear from her for the rest of the day as she was rushed to surgery. It was incredibly difficult.

“When she first got the news from the doctors she went into shock, by the time she told us she was a little bit numb. I was distraught and my mum had a panic attack. “

She was transferred to a hospital in Manchester for six rounds of an intensive course of chemotherapy and remained in hospital for five months. She is currently in hospital undergoing her second course of treatment. Before her life di lei flipped upside down, Jodie and Luke had been looking forward to buying a home together, getting married and starting a family. She was also forced to give up her job and passion for beauty therapy.

Beautician, Jodie Cox, has been left paralyzed from the waist down after 'doctors initially sent her home with acid reflux'
Following a course of physiotherapy, Jodie Cox can now move her toes

“Adjusting to life with paralysis has been incredibly difficult for Jodie, there’s more to it than not being able to walk”, Luke added.

He continued: She also suffers from nerve pain which is probably the worse part of it, she’s in absolute agony from the waist down. It feels like her legs di lei are on fire and she can’t move. She has to rely on me a lot now, I had to leave my job di lei to take care of her.

“She has physiotherapy which has been helping with her independence, bone density and strength as well as increasing her chance of recovery. She she can feel temperature and began moving her toes recently but doctors have said it’s unlikely she will ever walk again. “

Beautician, Jodie Cox, has been left paralyzed from the waist down after 'doctors initially sent her home with acid reflux'
Beautician, Jodie Cox, has been left paralyzed from the waist down after ‘doctors initially sent her home with acid reflux’

A GoFundMe page has been launched for Jodie and her family, find out more here.

Speaking from hospital while undergoing treatment, Jodie told BlackCountryLive: “I wouldn’t have been able to get through this without all the support around me, especially from Luke, family and friends.

“That’s what keeps you going the most, when you are down they pick you back up again, the people that you have around you make the biggest difference.

Beautician, Jodie Cox, has been left paralyzed from the waist down after 'doctors initially sent her home with acid reflux'
Jodie Cox has kept a strong spirit throughout her cancer journey and wants to help others

“If anyone is going through a similar thing and want to reach out to have someone to talk to, or ask questions, I want them to be able to reach out to me, it helps you feel like you are not alone.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to normality, not having to live in hospitals and not think about being sick all the time and live how I used to live before.”

You can follow Jodie’s journey by visiting her Instagram page here.

A spokesperson for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Whilst we are unable to comment on individual cases, we always endeavor to provide the highest possible standard of care to those we serve and, for where we may not have lived up to this, we have comprehensive and rigorous processes in place.

“We will always ensure a full and thorough investigation is undertaken on any concerns a patient has about their treatment and, through this, we will seek to address any issues raised.”

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