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ME sufferer Jessica Taylor, from Cliffe Woods, determined to walk down aisle at wedding


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Jessica Taylor has spent most of the last 11 years in her bedroom, suffering from a debilitating illness – but has now revealed she is getting married.

The 25-year-old is working hard with her physiotherapist as she's determined to walk down the aisle on her big day.

Jessica, who runs the Share A Star charity, says her dreams have come true and she can’t wait to marry her fiance Samuel Bearman, 24.

Jessica and her fiance Samuel Bearman
Jessica and her fiance Samuel Bearman

The happy couple will be getting married next year at St Philips & St James in Upnor, after meeting through a mutual friend.

Jessica was just 14, and a pupil at Rochester Grammar School, when she was struck down with myalgic encephalopathy (ME).

Since then she has spent most of her life in bed, but now she’s found love, says she is determined to work hard at her physiotherapy to hopefully walk down the aisle on her big day.

The couple met when Samuel came to Jessica’s home in Cliffe Woods with one of her friends and visited her while she was bed-bound. The pair started a friendship which later turned into romance.

They are now busily preparing for their wedding day and Jessica says she has already got her dress.

Jessica Taylor
Jessica Taylor

The 25-year-old, who is still confined to her bed 95% of the time, said: “We became friends first and then fell in love.

“It was a total surprise when he got down on one knee, we were on our own at home and it was very romantic.

“He got me a diamond engagement ring and it was a really special moment, my dreams came true.

“My family are over the moon about, they really like Samuel.

"It was always my plan to get better and I want to make the most my life and our life together" - Jessica Taylor

“We had a nice family meal at home to celebrate the news.”

Despite Jessica’s illness, Samuel managed to arrange a romantic picnic out at the Blue Bell Hill picnic site and he was right by her side when Jessica became hospitalised at Christmas.

Jessica added: “I’d always wanted to go on a picnic and that’s what we did.

“I was also quite ill at Christmas and was hospitalised and he was by my side the whole time.

“It showed me how much he loves me and how loyal he is.

“This is the next chapter of my life and I am so excited about it.

“I am going to work so hard on my physiotherapy so I can learn to walk down the aisle and enjoy the whole day.

“With my illness I never could walk but my bone density is getting better and I am trying to take my first steps.

“It was always my plan to get better and I want to make the most my life and our life together.”

Jessica has also recently won a pledge of support from her MP, Kelly Tolhurst, during a visit to Parliament.

Jessica Taylor with her dad, Colin, and Kelly Tolhurst MP
Jessica Taylor with her dad, Colin, and Kelly Tolhurst MP

Jessica spent one-and-a-half hours with Miss Tolhurst telling her about her charity, which supports seriously ill young people in hospital by sending a positive message of hope and to make them feel better by a creating a star.

Each star is handmade, featuring the youngster’s favourite things, and is accompanied by a poem and a gift.

Along with her dad, Colin, and Samuel, they discussed with Miss Tolhurst ways to widen awareness for her charity, and also for health agencies to work more closely supporting seriously ill children.

Jessica said: “There were two main points raised with Miss Tolhurst.

“One was the need to increase research for the treatment of MS that can make patients feel better; the other was for health agencies to link up better to help seriously unwell children suffering from any condition.

“I’m confined to a bed in my room 95% of the time and it’s very difficult to gain publicity to help with my charity and Miss Tolhurst said she very happy to help in any way she could.”

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