A TEENAGER has been told he may never walk again after a shock diagnosis, prompting a community to rally together to raise thousands to help the devastated family.

Jude Hargrave, 15, from Southend, randomly lost all movement in his legs and fingers while spending an evening with friends on June 19.

The dedicated football player was taken to hospital and had an MRI scan which revealed he had transverse myelitis - an inflammation of the spinal cord.

Jude was transferred to Great Ormand Street Hospital with the blue lights on as they gave him high dose steroids to try to reduce the inflammation.

Initially, doctors were hopeful that Jude would make a recovery from the illness, but devastatingly he was later told he was paraplegic and may never walk again.

Jude’s mum, Hannah, 45, has opened up about how her family have coped with the news.


Hannah said: “He had an MRI scan and it showed he had transverse myelitis which is a very rare condition. It’s basically the inflammation of the spinal cord. They don’t know what’s caused it and quite often with this condition you never find out.

“With this condition they say a third of people will recover well, a third will make a small recovery and a third don’t recover.

“In the beginning they were hopeful there would be more progress but that hasn’t happened. At the moment they’ve said he is paraplegic and he may not recover at all.

“I was devastated. All sorts of things run through your mind. This isn’t what I wanted for my child.

“I think Jude is still trying to get his head around it all. I think what’s he’s struggled with is he doesn’t know why it’s happened.

“When they said he may never walk again he just burst into tears. He said to me “what am I going to do with my life. I can’t believe I may not walk again”.

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A fundraiser was set up by Hannah’s sister to help the family with the costs to get Jude a wheelchair and for any home adaptations that they may need in the future.

Hannah’s sister was desperate to help after Jude’s dad, David, sadly passed away almost ten years ago at the age of 36 while cycling home.

The family have been left overwhelmed as more than £12,000 has been raised in just two days.


Hannah said: “It’s been absolutely amazing how much support we’ve had. You can’t imagine your child going through that and they’ve had everything taken away from them in terms of their hopes and dreams and the life they wanted.

“As a parent you want to do everything you can for your children. I just want to give Jude the best wheelchair I can get so he can have some sort of normality with his friends.

“Just a massive, massive thank you to the people that have already given. Times are so tough especially after Covid so it’s much appreciated that people have given what they can to support us.”

To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/fcb9sj-judes-journey