A veterinary practice is raising funds to help a head nurse who has had both her legs amputated.
Now her colleagues are determined to make her struggle easier by helping to provide a disabled-adapted car for her.
They have launched a campaign, “Get Jan as mobile as possible” with an online fund-raising page and hope well-wishers will donate anything they can to help.
Vet Beverley Irving said Mrs Collins was an inspirational, wonderful person and a devoted veterinary nurse, who had been with the practice for more than 20 years.
“I can’t put into words how brave she’s been,” Mrs Irving said. “She has shown amazing courage throughout the past few months and has always been determined to return to work. Vet nursing has been a huge part of her life and a big incentive in her recovery to get well, get back to what she loves most – helping animals – and be able to walk her dogs.”
Mrs Collins had her lower legs amputated after developing necrotising fasciitis, also known as flesh eating disease, after surgery in January. Two days after having the drain removed from the surgery site, she collapsed in respiratory failure. She had developed multiple emboli secondary to the necrotising fasciitis and her body went into multiple organ failure. She was in a coma for two-and-a-half months.
Against all odds, however, Mrs Collins’ strength and determination won through. The doctors got her kidneys functioning again, though sadly they couldn’t save her lower legs. She was later transferred to Chelmsford Hospital burns unit in Essex, where she underwent weeks of reconstructive surgery.
Mrs Collins came out of hospital at the end of May and, within a couple of weeks, had been in to work and even helped with an anaesthetic. She has a wheelchair and is learning to walk with prosthetic limbs and a frame.
Mrs Irving had expected Government financial aid would be available for Mrs Collins, but, unfortunately, the scheme to help disabled people become mobile again by providing specially adapted cars is available only to those aged 65 or younger. She celebrated her 66th birthday before her initial operation, so, despite returning to work, will not be eligible for help.
The appeal has raised more than £6,800 so far. Anybody who wishes to make a donation can visit https://pledgie.com/campaigns/29396