A British woman has been left paralysed after slipping and falling while on a group holiday in Portugal.
Debbie Aspinall was on holiday in Faro, Portugal with her husband Warren and some friends when the tragic accident happened.
The 48-year-old slipped and fell near the pool of the villa the group had rented and broke her fifth vertebrae in her spine.
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Her injury left her paralysed from the waist down – changing her life forever – initially sending her into shock.
Debbie spent four weeks in a Portuguese hospital before the couple could fly back to Rainford, Merseyside.
She was initially taken to Walton Centre before moving to Southport Hospital, then Sandpipers for rehabilitation.
Debbie hasn’t been back to her home since the couple left for their holiday more than six months ago.
Speaking to the ECHO, Debbie says: "We were going on holiday to Portugal with a group of friends. Me and Warren had just started our new business and this holiday was meant to be the last one before we got properly busy.
"I put my foot down as I got up from the sun lounger and I slipped, then cracked my head on the floor. All of a sudden I couldn't feel anything below my neck.”
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Initially, she thought she was just in shock, and 30 minutes after the fall a friend who is trained as a nurse looked her over.
She continued: "My hand started to claw and she called me an ambulance. They were poking me and I couldn't feel it.
“I passed out a few times then they sent me straight for a scan when I got to the hospital. They then sent me for emergency surgery and had to cut my clothes off me.
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"They were doing physio from the first day to try and wake up my limbs. Then in the second week, they started trying to sit me at the end of my bed.
“They put me on the end of the bed to test my balance but I was just floppy.
"I was like jelly when they sat me up. That's when it really sank in, I had a panic attack and didn't move for two days.
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“But after that, I got a really good physio, Marco, who was amazing. Looking back now I have no idea how I did it."
Debbie endlessly praised the NHS about the last six months, with her explaining how "you never think this will happen to you".
Now, her family and friends are trying to raise as much money as possible to help transform their home and buy specialist equipment as Debbie recovers from the horrific fall.
You can view Debbie's GoFundMe here.
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