Before Elly’s stroke, she was a fit and healthy 19-year-old. She was studying psychology at Liverpool Hope university and had a part time job at the Evenwood pub restaurant in Runcorn. She loved going out with her friends, particularly her best friend Holly, for food and nights out in Liverpool.
Elly had her stroke on the 19th of June 2019. She had returned home from work as normal and showed no signs of what was about to happen. My wife and I gave her some tea; then we went to bed. For whatever reason, my wife remembered she had something to say to Elly so she went back downstairs. This was only 10 minutes after we’d gone to bed.
Elly was on the couch and was unresponsive. She could not move her right arm and couldn’t speak. I knew she was having a stroke and an ambulance was called. When it arrived, the medics didn’t recognise that Elly had suffered a stroke. As she had just returned from working at the pub, they thought that her drink or food may have been spiked with drugs!
Elly was taken to Whiston Hospital which, thankfully, had a stroke team. Once it was confirmed that she had suffered a stroke, Elly received an emergency Thrombolysis injection. She was then taken to the acute stroke ward where she was monitored constantly. Due to the blood clot, her brain was now swelling. This was a major concern to the doctors at Whiston. They contacted the Walton centre at Aintree in order to organise an emergency Thrombectomy but unfortunately, there was insufficient time to assemble the team required to perform the procedure. This meant that the only other option was to send Elly to the Walton Centre for an emergency Craniotomy operation. She then spent some time in the critical care unit at Walton.
After that, Elly was transferred back to the stroke ward at Whiston. The stroke had left her with no movement to her right side, and with no speech.
Whilst at Whiston, Elly started a rehabilitation program during which she had to learn to swallow, drink and eat, all over again. She also started speech therapy and physiotherapy. The team at Whiston were amazing and considering what Elly had been through, it achieved amazing results.
After six weeks at Whiston, she was sent to the Trauma Rehabilitation unit at the Seddon Suite in St Helens. Once there, the rehabilitation team got to work with Elly straight away. They truly are miracle workers and with Elly’s determination and hard work, they produced amazing results. After 7 months at Seddon, Elly can now walk on her own and her speech has improved dramatically. After 9 months in hospital, she is now at home and awaiting a cranioplasty operation to fit a ceramic plate to her skull.
The most likely cause of Elly’s stroke was a PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale) hole in the heart. She is awaiting further tests to confirm this. Hopefully, they will then perform a PFO closure.
Elly is now taking Apixaban to thin her blood. Her stroke has also caused her to suffer from Aphasia.