'I was in so much pain' Victim of supermarket freak accident to become a motivational speaker
PUBLISHED: 17:02 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 18:22 12 February 2020
A freak supermarket accident left an Ipswich mum isolated and in constant pain for years, before a support charity stepped in to help turn her life around.
In 2017 Josephine Kalagira worked for Essex Fire and Rescue Service in the HR department, where she was happy and hoping to sign a contract to extend her part time hours to a permanent position.
However, her opportunity to work was lost when she was hit by a large goods trolley in a supermarket in a freak accident.
When the pain didn't pass she went to hospital and whilst doctors initially thought it could be soft tissue damage, she was eventually diagnosed with chronic neuropathic pain.
This left her leg in agony, unable to drive or walk - and her GPs helpless to do anything but prescribe heavy medication to help her cope.
"I felt like the world was coming down on me," Josephine recalled.
"I was in so much pain and I had all of these bad voices in my head. I was dropping things, I couldn't balance myself, I burnt myself and I was supposed to be feeling better by this point.
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"I was walking around my house on my elbows and they were blistered and bruised. It was too much for me, seeing my son watching me through all of this."
When the single mum broke down one day dropping her son Jayden off at school, she was referred to Family First, a volunteer charity which supports families in need of help in Ipswich.
Family liaison officer Michelle Jones was assigned to work with her and over a period of nine months, through weekly meetings, helped the 36-year-old to turn her life around.
"When we first visited Josephine she was very isolated and in extreme pain," said Michelle.
"She was low in mood and anxious about what the future might hold. She couldn't cope with an hour visit because she was in so much pain.
"We were here to provide some positive goals for the future which enabled her to have somebody to off-load to."
Josephine's time with Michelle is soon coming to an end as the charity only work with families for one year, however she hopes to return one day as a support volunteer, alongside her plans to be a motivational speaker.
"My ambition is to inspire and empower people through their challenges, which are visible or invisible, by sharing my experiences.
"I want to work hand in hand to boost their confidence and feel like they're being heard without being judged and get the support that they deserve."