An anonymous benefactor has given some freedom back to an Oak Flats mother left paralysed after the birth of her third child.
Jessie Bruton is teaching herself to walk again after losing feeling in her legs because of nerve damage while she was pregnant with Klay, now six months.
It’s a slow, painful process but her spirits were lifted recently when she returned home from a family outing to find a Nissan Pathfinder with a big red bow on her front lawn.
The car, which had been fitted with hand controls, will fit the 27-year-old’s walking frame and wheelchair as well as prams and equipment for her three young boys.
This week she passed her disability driving test and on Tuesday she was able to drive herself to a rehabilitation session.
“It was just incredible to get home and see the car parked there with a red bow and a lovely card saying they hoped it would help my family out, and make me smile,” Mrs Bruton said.
“The card had no name on it and at first I wanted to find out who it was from so I could thank them, but then realised that they wanted to remain anonymous.
“It’s really lovely to know there are people in this world who are willing to give something without receiving any recognition.”
Doctors don’t know if Mrs Bruton will be able to walk unaided again, but the former fitness instructor is determined to do so.
“I’m not getting better as quickly as I would have liked and can only walk with the walking frame for a short distance without getting tired,” she said.
“I still can’t feel my legs, but it is possible to walk without having that feeling and in doing so you create muscle memory so that walking becomes automatic.
“So I’m doing as much physio as I can and my next goal is to walk with a stick, rather than a frame.
“I’m still positive I’ll make a full recovery but I have to deal with what’s possible right now too.”
That’s been made easier with the support of family, friends and, it seems, mysterious benefactors.
“We got the hand-over papers in the car and contacted the woman who sold the car, but she wouldn’t tell me who bought it in our name either,” Mrs Bruton said.
“I respect that they want to remain anonymous, but I’d just like to thank them for letting me drive again – letting me feel a bit normal again.
“My old car was always breaking down and I couldn’t fit the wheelchair and prams in so there was no point in spending money to get that modified.”
Though she’s had to move back in with her parents, along with husband Michael, and boys Levi, 6, Nash, 2, and Klay, she’s determined to move into the family home that was built before the paralysis.
Her supporters are holding a fund-raiser at Wests Illawarra Leagues Club on Friday night to raise money to make modifications to the home, including ramps and rails. Donations can also be made at jessiebruton.eventbrite.com.au.