Student told by doctors her paralysis was 'all in her head' is now confined to ...

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A student told by doctors her that her paralysis was all in her head and would go away eventually is now confined to a wheelchair.

Poppy McCollum, 18, woke up on April Fool's Day last year with severe back pain, which she assumed was from running the night before. 

Her pain worsened the next day, prompting her parents to call for an ambulance. Paramedics dismissed her pain, reassuring her it was muscular.

By April 3, Miss McCollum, of West Sussex, was unable to stand up because of her discomfort and couldn't feel anything below her knees. 

Her parents took her to the hospital on April 4 after she collapsed onto their sofa. She spent 11 days inside, undergoing an array of tests.

However, she was discharged without any diagnosis - doctors at first thought she had suffered a stroke but a CT scan came back clear. 

Miss McCollum claimed she could 'barely walk' after being let home and wasn't allowed a wheelchair, forcing her family to hire one from the Red Cross to help her get around. 

Now, she has a diagnosis and still has days where she has no sensation or movement from below her stomach down to her toes - but hopes she will recover.

Poppy McCollum, 18, was told by doctors her that her paralysis was all in her head and would go away eventually - but is now confined to a wheelchair

Poppy McCollum, 18, was told by doctors her that her paralysis was all in her head and would go away eventually - but is now confined to a wheelchair

She woke up on April Fool's Day last year with severe back pain, which she assumed was from running the night before. Her pain worsened the next day, prompting her parents to call for an ambulance. Paramedics dismissed her pain, reassuring her it was muscular

She woke up on April Fool's Day last year with severe back pain, which she assumed was from running the night before. Her pain worsened the next day, prompting her parents to call for an ambulance. Paramedics dismissed her pain, reassuring her it was muscular

By April 3, Miss McCollum, of West Sussex, was unable to stand up because of her discomfort and couldn't feel anything below her knees (pictured in September 2017)

By April 3, Miss McCollum, of West Sussex, was unable to stand up because of her discomfort and couldn't feel anything below her knees (pictured in September 2017)

And her arms seize up sporadically, causing one or both arms to be paralysed from anywhere between two hours up to three weeks. 

Recalling her first symptoms, Miss McCollum said: 'When I woke up that first day, I thought I had jarred my back from the running I did the day before.

'It didn’t get any better so the next day we called the paramedics and I was treated at home since I could still move my legs and pass urine.

'They said it was a muscular problem, so I’d be fine. I didn’t believe them because I had intermittent pins and needles in my legs. It didn’t seem like just a pulled muscle.

'The next morning, two days after waking up with the back pain, I had no sensation from my knees to my feet. I was terrified and didn’t know what to do.'

Miss McCollum said the sensation came back after a couple of hours, and she had 'full sensation' and movement for the rest of the day.

Her parents took her straight to hospital after she collapsed onto their sofa. She spent 11 days inside, undergoing an array of tests (pictured in hospital)

Her parents took her straight to hospital after she collapsed onto their sofa. She spent 11 days inside, undergoing an array of tests (pictured in hospital)

However, she was discharged without any diagnosis. Miss McCollum claimed she could 'barely walk' after being let home, forcing her family to hire her a wheelchair to help her get around (pictured playing wheelchair basketball)

However, she was discharged without any diagnosis. Miss McCollum claimed she could 'barely walk' after being let home, forcing her family to hire her a wheelchair to help her get around (pictured playing wheelchair basketball)

Now, she has a diagnosis and still has days where she has no sensation or movement from below her stomach down to her toes (pictured using her beach wheelchair)

Now, she has a diagnosis and still has days where she has no sensation or movement from below her stomach down to her toes (pictured using her beach wheelchair)

Recalling her first symptoms, Miss McCollum said: 'When I woke up that first day, I thought I had jarred my back from the running I did the day before' (pictured in her wheelchair)

Recalling her first symptoms, Miss McCollum said: 'When I woke up that first day, I thought I had jarred my back from the running I did the day before' (pictured in her wheelchair)

Doctors who treated Miss McCollum in hospital were also baffled when an MRI scan of her bones and joints came back clear

Doctors who treated Miss McCollum in hospital were also baffled when an MRI scan of her bones and joints came back clear

WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER?

Functional neurological disorder (FND) is a disabling cause of neurological symptoms. People with FND can experience a wide variety of symptoms including:

Weakness and abnormal patterns of movement (e.g. tremor, abnormal posturing of limbs, gait problems) Attacks of abnormal movement/change in awareness that resemble epileptic seizures Sensory problems Cognitive problems Visual and speech problems

While the symptoms may appear similar to neurological diseases including those of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and epilepsy, and can be just as disabling, they are not caused by structural disease of the nervous system, but instead are a problem with the 'functioning' of the nervous system.

People with FND appear to lose the ability to control or access their body normally. The 'basic wiring' of the nervous system is intact, but when people with FND try to use it to move, feel or think, they cannot control it normally.

Exactly how many people get FND is unknown, but it's estimated to be around 14-22 cases per 100,000 people.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said FND patients make up about a quarter of its neurology patients.

For most people the symptoms are only short-lived, but in others they can last for months or years.

Its cause is poorly understood but scientists have likened it to a

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