Abby gets her wish

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 25 May 2010

A STRONG-WILLED woman struck down by a crippling illness was granted her wish to spend Christmas with her family in Banwell.

A STRONG-WILLED woman struck down by a crippling illness was granted her wish to spend Christmas with her family in Banwell.

Abby Rout, aged 20, enjoyed a festive dinner and games at the home despite being hospitalised with a critical spinal condition 13 weeks ago.

The equine student had been out on a college reunion in Hampshire when she lost movement in her whole body in just two hours.

But determined to recover, wheelchair-bound Abby has managed to regain some strength and is now receiving rehabilitation treatment at Weston General Hospital.

Her step-mother Sharon said it was a 'wonderful surprise' when she was told the former Westhaven pupil was allowed back for the first time on Christmas Day.

She said: "It was fantastic to have her back again with the whole family, especially for Christmas Day.

"After all she has been through I know she was delighted too.

"She's a brave character who has managed steady progress, despite this paralysing illness, we're so proud of her."

Sharon added a friend had given Abby a five-month-old fowl for Christmas.

She said: "This has given Abby something to look forward to, something to aim for."

Her father Andy, a coastguard rescue officer, said he hoped Abby would be returning home for more weekends.

He said: She is in good spirits, it is absolutely brilliant to have her close to us."

He also thanked Burnham Coastguard Association, which helped pay for travel expenses for the family when visiting Abby in Southampton.

Abby is receiving intense physiotherapy for the transverse myelitis condition, which is described as a rare neurological disorder.

She has said she hoped to regain her strength and become a horse riding teacher.

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