SITTING in her brightly decorated bedroom, Patricia Ingle's eyes light up when she takes out the Cinderella-style ball gown she is going to wear to a party that has been a long time in the planning.
Like most 22-year-olds, the self-confessed shopaholic loves fashion and music and dreams of someday meeting her own Prince Charming.
But unlike most people her age, Patricia Ingle, or Tricia as she prefers to be called, faces colossal daily struggles after a rare brain disease left her severely disabled and permanently on a ventilator.
Three years after becoming ill, the determined young woman continues to defy medical odds and wishes that someday she will "be normal again".
On Thursday, Tricia secured a €7.5m High Court settlement, which her family says will enable her to finally receive the rehabilitation care she needs.
Her action claimed she suffered her injuries after contracting chlamydia psittacosis -- an airborne infection that can be transferred from birds to humans -- while working at the Petmania stores, Ennis Road, Limerick, in 2008.
She also alleged her condition was negligently mismanaged by the HSE.
Speaking at her family's home in Murroe Co Limerick, yesterday, Tricia, who is wheelchair bound, said her parents, Pat and Annette, and her sisters Keira (22) and Melissa (29) were the reason she had made the progress she had.
"I wouldn't be this developed if they weren't here," she explained.
She only got to go home for the first time last Christmas and since then her parents have been bringing her home every day and returning her to hospital at night.
She was deemed medically fit to leave hospital in March 2009 but it wasn't until last Christmas that she finally got to spend some time at home.
Since then, she has been busy planning a party.
"I want to dress up as Cinderella," she said.
"I will have silver shoes and I will lose one so whoever finds it will be my prince," she added.