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Survivor Stories

Leah’s Story

Leah Batchelor (23) was in her final year of a Design and Visual Communications Degree at University when she suffered a stroke which left her with the rare Locked-in Syndrome. Leah explains what happened when she suffered her stroke and the progress she has made…

Like any 21 year old I was looking forward to my final year at University, completing my degree and having fun with my friends. On the day that it happened I was out shopping when I suffered a massive stroke due to an aneurysm thrombosis. I was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital and then transferred to Musgrave Hospital. When I woke up the only thing I could move were my eyes and I was told that the stroke I had suffered had left me with Locked-in Syndrome.

I spent 9 months in hospital where I had to learn how to do everything again from eating, reading to walking and writing. I was determined to walk out of the hospital and 9 months after doctors had thought I would die I walked out of the hospital.

Since coming out of hospital things haven’t been easy, I have great difficulties with my speech including pronouncing my words and I also am in a wheelchair and need help with transferring to and from the wheelchair.

I first came to Brain Injury Matters in 2012 and have got involved with everything that goes when I’m here. Taking part in drama workshops and music therapy has really helped increase my confidence and has also helped with my speech as well.

Most recently I have become involved with the Fundraising outreach group and have been able to use my graphic design skills from my degree to make posters for fundraising events/activities. I’ve also continued to be an active member of my church and the Girls Brigade.

I can see my progress and this encourages me to keep working hard and remain determined and focused on the positives in my life.