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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

20 Year Old Left Paralysed on Her Left Side After a Stroke

For most people who think strokes affect only old people, you need to read this. You need to pay more attention to your body for any warning signs. Elizabeth Ashmore complained of a headache after Sunday dinner and went to bed and woke up following morning with no feeling down the left side of her body. When she temporarily lost her memory and the ability to even tell the time, doctors declared she had suffered a major stroke.

The news was a huge shock to the fit and active 20 year old student, who doesn't smoke and regularly attended Zumba classes. She was eventually diagnosed with a middle cerebral artery infarct, which is a blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. 3 months later Elizabeth, a graphic design student, has returned home after intensive physiotherapy. She now uses a wheelchair and stick to get around and still has no feeling in her left arm, hand ankle and toes, but is learning how to cope only using her 'good' side.

Elizabeth said: 'I'd had a normal day at home on the Sunday but after dinner I had a massive headache I couldn't get rid of. I went to bed, but couldn't stop shaking. My mum tried to stand me up, but I collapsed. I didn't know what was happening. My mouth was drooping and I couldn't move my left arm at all or lift my leg. 'When I woke up, I was really upset. I didn't understand where I was and then it hit me that I was paralysed. She added: 'It was upsetting because doctors didn't know if I’d be the same person I was before.'My boyfriend came to visit and all I could do was a thumbs up sign. I was just staring at him. I also lost my memory - I couldn't even tell the time, which was scary.'


Elizabeth now realises a strange episode when her left arm went numb a month earlier could have been a warning sign and is campaigning for more awareness of stroke in young people. On January 5 - a month before the stroke - she went to A&E with a numb arm but doctors said it was just a trapped nerve. 'The doctors didn't investigate whether it could be a stroke because of my age. Around 75 per cent of strokes affect the over 65s, but Elizabeth is keen to raise awareness of the risk to younger people.' 

She added: 'I want people to know the symptoms and get checked out if they show signs of any.
'Don’t assume that just because you’re young, it won’t happen. 'It’s scary to think I nearly died but you just have to get on with it. You learn to not take things for granted. I’m stronger than I was before.'

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