In the News this week, a young mum who suffered a major stroke at the age of 23 has learned to walk and talk again with the help of someone very special: her own baby daughter. Stacey Legrice was left trapped in her own body after a sudden brain attack, unable to move, communicate or care for her children. The mum-of-three slowly nursed herself back to health as her daughter, Aurora, who was aged just one when she fell ill, took her first steps, too. In fact, Stacey said her first word just a week before her daughter, who is now nearly three years old.
Stacey, now 25, said: “I was learning to do everything again at the same time as my youngest, Aurora, who was learning for the first time. I started with children’s books so we did that together. We were brushing our teeth together and brushing our hair together. That was quite incredible actually. I didn’t ever think that at 23 I’d be learning to walk and talk at the same time as my youngest daughter.”
Following her stroke in March 2014, Stacey, who is also mum to Leo, seven, and Tommy Lee, four; had to learn to do everything again with the help of husband Jason, 30. He gave up his job as a metal worker to care for her. She said: “It was like I was a baby to begin with, just like Aurora. All I could do was stand for about five seconds. But Aurora and I began learning to do things together. It was lovely because she was copying a lot of the things I was doing – I learned to brush my hair after six months and Aurora started copying me.”
Although Stacey reached most of her key milestones shortly before her daughter, she explained how Aurora was the first to learn to eat. Stacey’s ordeal began with a “bad headache” before she started to lose her speech, and the feeling down her right side. She was rushed to see specialists at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge in the UK who told her family to expect the worst. Stacey, from Lowestoft, Suffolk, said: “Doctors told them that the speed the blood was flowing through my brain was the same as when you’re in a fatal car crash. I was in excruciating pain and I couldn’t even say so. My family were absolutely distraught.”
Alexis Wieroniey, Deputy Director for Policy and Influencing at the Stroke Association, said: “One in five women will have a stroke in their lifetime. The risk of stroke in young women is low, but you can have a stroke at any age.”
High blood pressure is the single biggest risk factor and contributes to over 50 per cent of strokes. Even though high blood pressure has no symptoms you can take steps to keep it under control. Getting your blood pressure tested regularly, exercising, eating healthily and stopping smoking will all reduce the likelihood of having a stroke.
You think it won’t happen to YOU? It will to one in every five women – why not insure against it? How would YOU cope financially in this situation, with your husband having to give up work?