The family of a young woman who is living with a range of debilitating conditions have launched a £10,000 appeal for a new wheelchair so she can retain her independence.
Jessica Thompson, 21, has dedicated much of her time helping others - despite living in constant pain and suffering repeated dislocations of various joints in her body - sometimes up to 15 times a day.
I’m feeling very isolated but hopeful that things are going to change and I am going to be able to start living my life like a 21 year old should be.Jessica Thompson
She is also suffering with problems in her back and neck.
Jessica, from Lincoln Road, South Shields, one day hopes to be a sports journalist, but has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) and gastroparesis.
With her condition gradually getting worse, she is now unable to use a manual wheelchair and needs a motorised one with suspension.
Jessica has dedicated much of her time to helping a variety of charities, but her worsening condition has caused her to lose a lot of her independence.
Her parents Julie and Chris hope she will get that back if they can raise the funds needed for a special wheelchair.
It will cost around £9,000 with the remainder of the cash being used to pay for a special suit in a bid to reduce the number of dislocations Jess suffers.
She said: “My life is difficult at the moment, as I need a lot of help with everyday tasks.
“I rely on my parents to help me at home and I am very grateful to them for all the support they give me.
“But I ‘m now unable to propel my manual wheelchair and it is very frustrating, as I have no independence.
“I can’t go anywhere without my parents taking me, and they have to push me around.
“I’m feeling very isolated, but hopeful that things are going to change and I am going to be able to start living my life like a 21-year-old should.
“It’s the little things, like going into a bar with friends and being able to buy my own drink.
“The thing I’m really looking forward to is being able to raise my chair up, so I’m at eye level with everyone else and have a conversation with them.
“At the moment people will bend down to talk to me, or just talk to my mam and dad.”
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the fundraising effort can visit the JustGiving page HERE.