A York mother who was left paralysed after giving birth has joined calls to open a state of the art rehabilitation centre closer to the city.

Irrum Jetha lost the use of her legs after suffering a spinal cord injury while giving birth to her nine-year-old daughter.

She sustained the injury from a haematoma (a bleeding outside the blood vessels) caused by an advised epidural during the birth.

The 43-year-old from Strensall was told she wouldn’t regain the movement and feeling in her legs after her discharge from the spinal cord injury unit at Stoke Mandeville.

Since then, the former clinical scientist has undergone intensive rehab sessions at charitable trust Neurokinex’s specialist gym in Watford – the closest service of its kind to her home.

The sessions have allowed Ms Jetha to grow in confidence and independence.

She describes the treatment as a “lifesaver” and said it would be “fantastic” to have a centre nearby in Leeds.

New flagship centre being proposed for Leeds

A new flagship centre is being proposed for Leeds to help patients in the north of England.

But it is in a race against time to secure £200,000 of final funding before the opportunity is lost.

Ms Jetha said the Neurokinex’s care is “essential to injured patients”.

“Without their forward thinking and continued research into new devices and equipment, there is little outpatient support for people like me. 

“Neurokinex provided me with an essential service and without it I don't think I would have gained the function I have now.

“With it nearer to home, it would be very beneficial to me especially in the way of using equipment that only a specialised centre would have.”

£200k needed to deliver project

A spokesperson for Neurokinex said it is “ready and waiting” to expand its services to Leeds.

But as a not-for-profit charitable trust it needs donations and investment to get this across the line, they added.

So far, £450,000 of the required £650,000 has been raised with funding from National Lottery Community Fund, People's Postcode Innovation Trust and Edward Gostling Foundation. 

But these donations are time-limited and if the final £200,000 isn’t raised by June 1, 2024, the opportunity will be lost, the Neurokinex spokesperson said.

Neurokinex is calling on businesses and individuals to step forward with investment and donation funds so the centre can be built.

After the funds have been raised, Neurokinex Leeds could be open in just over six months, the spokesperson said.  

'Desperate' need for the services

Harvey Sihota, founder and CEO of Neurokinex, said there is a “desperate” need for the services in the north of England.

“We have a number of clients travelling hundreds of miles to reach our South East sites. But there are many more who can’t navigate this post-code lottery who are missing out massively on their rehab,” he said.

“Not only does this affect individuals and families by limiting their recovery, it puts them at greater risk of secondary complications with their physical and mental health, slowing their progress back to work, school and society.

“Everyone has a right to rehab and we know from the communities served by our other sites how beneficial and valuable it is to have community-based services available.

“I sincerely hope people can help us reach out target so we can bring this flagship site to Leeds.”