Botched surgery leaves young mum desperate for a solution
A "BOTCHED" spine surgery has left Claudine Snow in excruciating pain, unable to walk and desperate for answers in her bid to get back into her role as mum of two young daughters.
Unable to stand on her right leg, it's the latest blow in a harrowing string of hardships the Nambucca mother and her young family, including husband Graham and daughters Audrey and Yvonne, have weathered over the years.
"I don't care if I end up in a wheelchair…I need to be able to care for my children. I will fight for them," Ms Snow said.
It was soon after welcoming her first daughter Audrey in 2012 that Ms Snow found herself unable to stand up, and requiring a spinal fusion.
"I didn't know how much a heart could grow but it felt like mine was going to burst. She was everything I could have asked for," she said of the birth of Audrey.
"In January 2013 my husband called an ambulance as I was on the bathroom floor unable to get up."
What ensued was a "botched" spinal fusion from a surgeon who she says has since faced disciplinary action, and months of agony in hospital.
Then in 2014, Audrey received a devastating cancer diagnosis. The family were told it was an aggressive form of cancer, and she needed her right eye removed immediately.
Audrey was in the middle of chemotherapy treatment in 2015 when Claudine's back finally gave in and the fusion had failed, requiring a second surgery.
Husband Graham was left to juggle caring for their second born daughter Yvonne, while nursing Audrey through chemotherapy and being by his wife's bedside.
"I don't know how he did it but he managed," Ms Snow said, "he is and always will be the love of my life."
Upon waking from her second surgery Ms Snow said it felt as through a hot iron was being pressed on her right leg.
"I couldn't stop screaming. I just wanted to go home though and be with my beautiful girls so I gathered all my strength and kept going.
"Luckily Audrey has beaten her cancer but will face many challenges ahead as she has autism and damage from the chemotherapy."
As Ms Snow now undergoes a third surgery for her spine, community members are rallying behind the family.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise funds for both Claudine and Audrey's medical expenses, and the costs associated with them being away from their Nambucca home.
Over $5,000 of the $75,000 target has so far been raised.