THE family of a young mother of who suffers from locked-in syndrome is praying she can spend her first Christmas at home after five years in Irish and British hospitals.
Catherine O'Leary (38) developed the condition after two strokes. She is only capable of communicating through blinking and has no other movement.
The woman, from Carrigaline, Co Cork, suffered two strokes during surgery in February 2008 to remove a non-malignant brain tumour.
The strokes left Catherine a prisoner in her body and she has been cared for over the past five years by Cork University Hospital staff and her parents.
The family will discover today if Catherine will be allowed home for just two hours on Christmas Day.