Actress Leslie Ash has said that she has used “mental strength” to fight the life-changing spinal condition diagnosis and has defied doctors expectations
Leslie Ash has spoken about the life-changing spinal condition she is fighting and has revealed that doctors only gave her a “slight hope of recovery” after the diagnosis.
The 61-year-old actress, who starred in BBC comedy Men Behaving Badly, has said that doctors warned that she would be in a wheelchair by the time she was 60 but she has used “mental strength” to help defy the doctors’ expectations.
Leslie contracted a “deadly strain” of the superbug MRSA while in hospital due to an abscess on her spine, which could have left her permanently unable to walk.
Speaking to The Sun, Leslie said: “They said I’d be in a wheelchair by 60 because of my terrible hips and knees. I was only given a slight hope of recovery but because I wanted it enough I was able to achieve what I have today.”
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She has now bounced back from this scenario and can now walk without a walking stick.
This has meant that the actress has been able to land a couple of roles in soaps, which has helped her return to our TV screens, with Leslie appearing in Doctors and Casualty.
There was a time, back in 2008, when her prognosis was very bleak which led to her to successfully sue the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for £5million in compensation, to reflect loss of earnings after she contacted the antibiotic-resistant MSSA form of the infection after an epidural needle came loose.
Leslie said that she had to stay positive to give her chance of fighting the condition.
She said: “If I sat down and did nothing I’d be in a wheelchair now, without a doubt. You need a lot of mental strength to keep fighting.”
At the end of the month, Leslie will start filming a short film called Twelve, which will centre on a recovery group session for those with eating disorders, starring alongside Duncan James.
She said that it was written alongside NHS professionals.
The actress had revealed previously in an interview that she had lost parts of her life due to the effects of taking anti-depressants following her diagnosis.
Leslie said: “When you’ve got nerve pain they tend to give you antidepressants which tells your brain that you’re not in pain so it takes away about 50 per cent of the pain.
“I just thought, ‘actually, I don’t like them’ because they don’t let you sort of finish your conversation or finish your sentence even.”
She continued: “You have a big bits of your life missing and so I really wanted to get off them and I’ve taken quite a long time to get off them because it’s not something you can just suddenly come off and I feel really awake now, it’s brilliant.”
Leslie became a grandmother in April when her eldest son Joe, 31, welcomed baby Lucas with fiancée Farah, 30.
Speaking to The Mirror, she revealed her concerns about looking after her grandchild due to the debilitating ailments.
Leslie told us: “I am scared. I can’t run and any mother will know that there are scary moments where you have to be able to run after your children to protect them, or stop them doing something.
“I’ll never be able to be alone with Lucas until he’s a certain age because I couldn’t be fully responsible.
“I also won’t be able to run around and play with him as much as I’d like. That’s what my mum did with my kids. Still, there are plenty of other ways we can have fun.”
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