A mum-of-four has spent the last five years unable to move from her bed after being diagnosed with a rare genetic condition.

Leah Smith, from North Wales, has her world come crashing down back in February 2017, when she suffered from a "stroke-like" episode.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Leah's mum Debbie Smith, 62 said: "She was having stroke-like symptoms. I was actually sat next to her when it happened.

"It was completely out of the blue. She looked a bit vacant, she was able to speak but I would see she wasn't completely with us so I rang an ambulance.

"It was like an altered consciousness, I could see she wasn't herself."

Leah has spent the last five years bed bound.
Leah has spent the last five years bed bound.

In the weeks that followed, Leah, 40, underwent tests and MRI scans to try and determine the cause of the symptoms.

During this time, she started experiencing numbness in her legs and a lumbar puncture was carried out to check for multiple sclerosis (MS).

Doctors later discovered that the lumbar puncture had caused a Cerebrospinal fluid leak (CSF.)

Despite undergoing procedures to try and fix the leak, which provided Leah with temporary pain relief and allowed her to sit up for an hour at a time, they ultimately proved unsuccessful.

She has since been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) - a group of rare inherited conditions that affect connective tissue - and Arachnoiditis.

Arachnoiditis is a pain disorder caused by inflammation of one of the membranes that surround and protect the nerves of the spinal cord, which leads to chronic pain and neurological problems.

Leah Smith before and after she fell ill.
Leah Smith before and after she fell ill.

Her conditions mean she has to lie flat for the majority of the time, often suffering from seizures and numbness in parts of her body.

Debbie said: "She's got a lie down wheelchair that she can't even use at the moment because she's in that much pain everywhere, so if we can get rid of some of the pain and she can get back in that wheelchair she'll get stronger.

"Her muscles and everything are deteriorating.

"The deterioration of her in the last 12 months is exponential. She's getting weaker and weaker and in more pain."

The only time Leah has left her home in the last five years is for hospital appointments - and even then this is done with extreme difficulty and the help of a lie down wheelchair.

The 40-year-old needs a number of lifesaving operations, which Debbie said are only available through private healthcare.

The family said they have spent the last five years fighting to get Leah the help she needs but they fear time is running out.

They believe specialist doctors in Germany and England may be able to help her.

Leah Smith's children Oliver, now aged 17, Poppy, 13, Daisy, 10, and Summer, 19.
Leah Smith's children Oliver, now aged 17, Poppy, 13, Daisy, 10, and Summer, 19.

A Gofundme page has been set up with the aim of raising enough money for the operations and specialist transport to get Leah there.

Debbie said: "It's devastating that you feel that you're in this condition and you've had to fight to the extent we've had to fight to find out the reasons of what's going on. And to try and fight to get help to find out the help is only available with specialists you have to pay for."

In a message on the fundraising page said: "Our family urgently needs your help to save our beautiful Leah. She’s our daughter, granddaughter, sister, auntie, friend and most importantly a wonderful mummy to her incredible children

"Leah has Ehlers Danlos syndrome and needs lifesaving spinal and vein surgeries.

"For the last 5 years Leah's been fighting with everything she has to stay with us whilst we've been fighting relentlessly to somehow get her the help and treatment she needs and so very much deserves.

"All of our fighting has only led to brick walls and dead ends.

Many know that Leah had a lumbar puncture in 2017 which left her with a spinal leak.

"What most don’t know is the lumbar puncture and subsequent procedures trying to fix the leak caused catastrophic damage to her whole spine and central nervous system leaving her in unrelenting pain and unimaginable suffering.

"The pain is 24/7, it’s unsustainable and it has to stop."

To donate to the Gofundme page click here.