At the age of just 29, a stroke left Sarah completely paralysed and unable to speak or move, yet she challenged herself to take part in her local Step Out for Stroke in Middlesbrough. Sarah had been suffering from headaches for around a month, which doctors had diagnosed as sinusitis. However one Sunday in December 2015, Sarah needed to spend the full day in bed.
“All day I was really tired and just didn’t feel like myself. It was only when I shouted my mum and she saw my face had dropped, that she called an ambulance. My limbs were completely lifeless and I couldn’t speak.”
Her symptoms disappeared and after tests, she was discharged with a migraine. Days later, Sarah was getting ready to meet a friend when she collapsed. “I couldn’t move at all. I had to drag myself along the floor to call an ambulance. But by the time it arrived my symptoms had gone and I was sent home. Just three hours later my face drooped again, I deteriorated in hospital and was told I’d had a brain stem stroke before being put into an induced coma.”
When Sarah woke, she was completely paralysed. Sarah ended up having to spend eight months in hospital - and then learn to do everything again for herself including putting one foot in front of the other. Sarah added: “When I was discharged from hospital I was using my wheelchair, but now I can walk with a stick and just use my chair for longer distances. I really appreciated the support the Stroke Association provided me after I lost my job as a civil servant following my stroke.” “Walking the 1 mile route was a challenge but worth it to prove how far I’ve come with my recovery. For me it’s important to help raise awareness and vital funds to help others affected by stroke to get the support they need.”
Sarah first attended her local Step Out for Stroke in 2017 and enjoyed it so much that she returned again in 2018, and is looking forward to stepping out again this year.