Flying high: Air stewardess who was told she would be paralysed by cancer surgery beats disease AND walks again
Bally Taylor, 37, will tomorrow carry the Olympic torch through her home town of Dunfermline
12:53 GMT, 11 June 2012
An air stewardess who was told she would never walk again after suffering from an extremely rare form of cancer will tomorrow jog through her home town carrying the Olympic torch.
Bally Taylor, 37, was told her excruciating pregnancy pains were caused by a placenta cancer that would leave her paralysed for life.
The condition is so rare that only six other women in the world have been affected by it.
But Mrs Taylor has been told that the cancer is in remission, allowing her to carry the Olympic torch through her home town of Dunfermline, in Fife, Scotland..
Bally Taylor was told she would never walk again following her daughter Amara's birth in 2008 (right). But she proved doctors wrong and has returned to work as an air stewardess (left)
Her battle began shortly before giving birth to her daughter Amara, now four, when she started to get severe pains in her back.
Mrs Taylor went with her husband Gary, 35, to the doctors but they said that the baby was pressing against a nerve in her back which was causing the pain.
Mrs Taylor from Edinburgh, said: 'The pain was crippling. I was in floods of tears and it really was unbearable.
'Because I was three months pregnant I didn't want to take any painkillers apart from paracetamol so I had to struggle on through the pregnancy.
'I'd never had a baby before so I went with what the doctors said and hoped the pressure would be released when my baby was born.'
Bally went into a coma for three days following the birth of her daughter in 2008. She was then told she had a placenta tumour that had spread
Mrs Taylor, pictured with Amara, said she felt like giving in following chemotherapy
Mrs Taylor, who met IT consultant Gary on a British Airways flight to Glasgow, was staying with her aunt in Leeds when the pains got so severe she could barely walk and was rushed to hospital.
She said: 'Gary had been away in Europe and he walked through the door and
straight away he said 'you look terrible, you're going to hospital'.
'I was seven months pregnant and didn't have a clue what was happening to me and the doctors said they were going to perform an emergency caesarean.
'They also said they were going to concentrate on keeping me alive and not my baby and I just went into shock.'
After the birth Bally went into a coma for three days and was finally united with baby Amara, who apart from weighing just three pounds, was safe and well.
After extensive tests to discover what had gone wrong doctors diagnosed Choriocarcinoma of the placenta, a rare cancer that develops in the womb.
This type of cancer affects one in 40,000 women and usually develops following a failed pregnancy. However, Mrs Taylor's condition was even rarer as it occurred during pregnancy.
The cancer had also spread to her lungs and a tumour had developed around her spine, which was causing the severe back pains.
Mrs Taylor managed to learn how to walk again with help from her husband Chris (left) She is set to run with the Olympic torch tomorrow
Happy family: Gary and Bally with Amara. Mrs Taylor has raised 5,000 for Cancer Research
Doctors told Bally that she needed an operation to remove the tumour but it would mean she would never walk again.
Bally said: 'It was crushing. I'd just woken from a coma, had seen my baby for the first time and then was told that I needed an operation that would save my life but would also leave me paralysed.
'In the space of a year my life had turned upside down.'
Surgeons at a specialist hospital in Manchester removed the tumour and Bally returned to Edinburgh with Gary and Amara to start a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to ensure that the cancer didn't return.
Mrs Taylor said: 'The chemo was awful. I had long beautiful hair and I lost it all after the first session, I felt like giving in.'
But after nearly two years of chemotherapy, physio operations and pure determination, Mrs Taylor incredibly learned to walk again and she was told the cancer is now in remission.
Mrs Taylor said: 'I was determined not to give in. I fought hard and I had to learn to do everything all over again as well as raising my baby.
'The whole time I was ill I had my air-stewardess uniform on the back of my door to spur me on to get stronger.
'I just did it a bit at a time, moving my legs, then standing and moving on to walking normally again.
'It goes to show if you want something bad enough you will get it. But I couldn't have done it without Gary, he's my rock.'
Gary and Bally during her chemotherapy treatment
Air-stewardess Bally Taylor from Edinburgh with a pair of shoes her husband Gary bought as an incentive to learn to walk again
Bally is now back working for British Airways and was recently chosen to be the face of a new advertising campaign.
She is also a keen fundraiser and completed the 26 mile Edinburgh Moon Walk in which she raised over 5,000 for Cancer Research and is planning to host a Bollywood night on the Royal Yacht Britannia where she will auction goods for charity.
She was nominated to be an Olympic torch bearer by work colleagues and said she was very proud to even be considered.
Mrs Taylor said: 'It is such an honour for me to have the chance to carry the torch.
'I feel lucky to be alive – simple things like taking my daughter to school feel incredible, so this is amazing.
'If anyone is struggling with a similar condition when they see me walking with the torch hopefully it will inspire them to never give up.'