Grace was 13 when her mum, Heidi had a stroke. “She had a bleed on the brain. I didn’t think she was going to survive,” Grace remembers. “She was on life support so wasn’t breathing for herself”. Heidi had suffered from a haemorrhagic stroke which left her unable to talk or walk.

Once Heidi was well enough to leave hospital and return home, Grace became her mum’s full-time carer. “At first I didn’t really want mum to come home because I was really nervous about how to deal with it. It was a lot to take on”.

Grace found comfort from using My Stroke Guide: “It helped me to understand what my mum was going through”. She used My Stroke Guide to understand more about her mum’s emotions after her stroke and help her access tools for aphasia.

Aphasia was one of the major effects of Hiedi’s stroke. As well as taking on all of the household tasks, Grace was a vital part of her mum’s recovery, helping her with speech therapy and supporting her in rebuilding her confidence and independence.

I did it all, I was cooking, cleaning, feeding the dogs, and then mum started to get better.

Heidi has learnt to walk and talk again and Grace continues to see improvements in her mum’s recovery. “She’s doing amazingly. We’ve got a good thing going. I enjoy it more than anything”. A year on from Heidi’s stroke they’ve managed to go on holiday and Grace is even helping her mum figure out the online dating scene. “Me and mum get on so well. We’re best friends.”

Grace's stroke story

In recognition of her bravery and hard work, Grace received the carers award at the 2018 Life After Stroke Awards. Watch her stroke story below.