A HOSPITAL consultant battling motor neurone disease is appealing for help to fulfil her dream of one last trip abroad.

Emma Fitzgerald, who worked as a doctor in intensive care, was diagnosed with the life-limiting muscle-wasting disease last year.

Today the 38-year-old is ‘locked-in’ her body.

Emma explained: “Whilst my brain functions perfectly, my body doesn’t.

“I am wheelchair dependent, unable to move my body. I communicate through blinking and require a ventilator to breathe. I rely on 24 hour care of a nurse and carer.”

However Emma is determined to make every moment count and has called on the public for help as she aims to raise awareness of the cruel condition.

Her loved ones have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds so she can go on a seven night Mediterranean cruise next year and already £7,500 has been raised.

However due to the cost of medical staff and equipment, it will cost £20,000.

Emma, from St Leonards, said: “Prior to my health declining I loved travelling and had a tremendous passion for life. I still have that passion for life and a love of travelling. I’m still the same person inside.

“Whilst I do not know how my disease will progress I thought I would never get the opportunity to travel again. However this may give me chance to fulfil a lasting dream.”

Emma, who has worked in hospitals including Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Poole Hospital and Dorset County Hospital, explained she was promoted to consultant anaesthetist at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth in June 2015 after completing an international critical care fellowship in Toronto, Canada.

She said: “The job was everything I had been working towards. All the long hours and hard work had finally started to pay off. I have dedicated the last twenty years of my life to the profession and to the patients.

“However shortly after starting my dream job my health started to decline.”

Emma was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in May last year. She spent months in hospital having a tracheotomy fitted with the aid of a ventilator to breathe and a gastronomy PEG to be fed and was discharged in December.

"I couldn't come home without a package of care in place as I require around the clock support. I've been home now for eight months and in those months, multiple changes have been made to enable me to live as much as humanly possible."

Testament to her strength of character Emma, who has a passion for photography, has defied the odds to attend weekly hydrotherapy sessions and enjoys visits out with her dog Maisy in her mobility van.

“I have not let my disease slow me down. No mountain too big, no challenge too great.”

To support Emma go to gofundme.com/elfchallengesMND