THE community is being urged to stand by a single mother-of-three who was left crippled after a routine vaccination, leaving her family heartbroken.
The St Vincent de Paul Society of Victoria and Diamond Valley Leader are calling on people to dig deep to support Greensborough’s Kathy Jones, 47, who was paralysed after she had a rare reaction, called Guillain-Barré syndrome, to her routine flu jab.
“I thought I was dying, it was just slowly taking over my whole body,” Ms Jones said. “I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t swallow, I couldn’t close my eyes. It affected me head to toe in two weeks.”
After a six-month hospital stint, makeshift wheelchair ramps were installed around her house so she could return to her three children — Shannon, 15, Jaime, 13, and Zoe, 11.
Despite the reaction, Ms Jones said she wouldn’t hesitate to vaccinate her children against the flu because “it saves more lives than it destroys”.
For months, Ms Jones has been working towards her dream of walking again.
“I won’t stop trying until I do,” she said.
“I want to go back to being the mum I use to be.”
However, the family faces another hurdle — financial hardship.
Ms Jones does not qualify for disability benefits and is dependent on Newstart payments to cover skyrocketing medical bills plus food and rent for her young family.