A Croydon mum who battled 20 years of chronic pain after her arm was damaged in a car crash is fundraising for a high-tech replacement.

Nicola Wilding was just 22 years old when her tyre suddenly burst while driving on the A23 from Brighton.

Despite this, she managed to avoid anyone else being injured by quickly steering onto the hard shoulder - but rolled her car because there was no crash barrier.

This meant she lost the use of her right arm and was left in chronic pain for two decades with phantom-limb syndrome.

Since then, after initially being refused the removal of her hand, she has gone through numerous muscle and nerve transplants in an attempt to restore function, all while raising her now-24-year-old son alone.

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Nicola kept herself fit during this time through cycling, running and swimming, but after years of frustration and sick of nerve and phantom limb pain, she begged doctors to remove the redundant hand and partial limb.

In 2017, Nicola was finally allowed amputation and reconstructive surgery to help restore the nerve pathways in her arm.

Now in 2020, her goal is to once again have two working hands.

So far, she has managed to raise £20,000 with the help of friends and family and general fundraising, but still needs to raise a further £60,000 to continue with her treatment.

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The money will also be used to provide Nicola with a Bebionic hand, one of the world’s most lifelike prosthetics, as well as further operations to reconstruct and restore nerve pathways.

To move the prosthetic hand, she will only need to think about and practice an action for the signals to be read and the action completed.

But despite her ordeal, Nicola has continued to prove herself an amazing para triathlete.

Over the next two years, she will be taking on challenges to draw attention to her fundraising efforts.

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In June 2020, Nicola will participate in the half Ironman, and in 2021 will face the Three Peaks Challenge, which involves climbing the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales.

Her supportive teammates will attempt these challenges using one hand.

Nicola said: “There’s only so much money you can ask from your friends and family.

“My son has been absolutely fantastic. Not only has he donated as much as he can, he’s also taken so much time out of his busy schedule as a self-employed scaffolder to run me around and has helped me with all my kit.

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“My mum has also been my rock throughout my journey, enduring all the early starts for my triathlons, she’s never far from my side!

“I hope that this can not only be an opportunity for me to be pain-free but also to help other amputees to realise that quality of life can be improved with the right support and technology.”

She will be supported in her challenges by the Superhero Foundation, which will provide advice and enable Nicola to claim Gift Aid on all donations.

To donate for Nicola’s hand, please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROSomeoneSpecialPage?pageUrl=NickyNeedsaHand

You can stay up to date with her progress on: https://www.facebook.com/SupportNicolaWilding/