A MOTHER is fighting to raise £3,000 to help her paralysed daughter after a brain cyst destroyed her life as a “bubbly” young woman.
Julie Hopwood’s daughter Melissa Rusling was a normal and healthy 26-year-old until a cyst on her brain caused severe brain damage that has left her unable to move, talk or eat.
The tragedy struck just four years after Mrs Hopwood’s husband David died aged 48 from a similar cyst on his brain, which had turned cancerous.
She said she lost her “best friend” when specialists at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) found a large cyst on Melissa’s brain last July.
Mrs Rusling in now in the permanent care of Dearnevale Care Home, in Grimethorpe, and her mum is hoping to raise £3,000 to buy a special chair that will provide vital support to her paralysed body and give her a better quality of life.
Mrs Hopwood, 47, of Chapel Street, Ryhill, said: “She kept getting headaches but she wasn’t one to feel sorry for herself so she just kept taking paracetamol, but they didn’t work.”
It was only after doctors at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield found the cyst that the family released it was more serious.
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Mrs Hopwood said: “She was rushed through to LGI. She lost consciousness in the ambulance, and then they found they couldn’t remove the cyst.
“Massive swelling of her brain has caused mass brain damage - she can’t talk and has to be fed through a tube. All she can do is cry.
“She was just like you or me, she was a bubbly, lovely person - she wasn’t just my daughter, she was my best friend.
“It’s been absolutely horrendous, it’s so heartbreaking. If I could swap places with her I would, it’s awful to see her change like this - I’ve lost her.”
The devastated mum is now hoping to do anything she can to give the best quality of life possible to Mrs Rusling, who turned 27 yesterday and worked at the logistics office for fashion website Asos, in Grimethorpe, before becoming ill.
Dearnvale Care Home currently only has two of the specialist chairs to support people in Mrs Ruslings’ condition, so her mum hopes to buy another for the home.
With the help of her daughter’s friends, Jenna Smith, Nickie Malkin and Amanda Taylor, Mrs Hopwood is hosting a fundraising party at the Ryhill Liberal Club.
The event will include live music, an auction and a raffle with prizes that include a massage, nail kit and meal vouchers.
It starts at 6pm on Friday, July 27.