STAFF at QA hospital have been thanked for lifting the spirits of Charlotte Grace after she suffered a stroke – aged just 22.
Charlotte spent six days in a coma after going into septic shock following an operation.
She suffered life-changing injuries but was able to stay positive thanks to doctors and nurses at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
‘I felt a bit funny when I came round from my operation but didn’t say anything because I thought it might have had something to do with the medication they gave me,’ said Charlotte, from Fareham. ‘My whole body shut down and was rejecting everything. They told my family and partner to say their goodbyes.’
After six days in an induced coma, Charlotte woke up with paralysis in her left-hand side and blindness in her left eye.
Almost two months on, she is having daily physiotherapy to improve mobility on her left side and the strength of her right.
The 22-year-old added: ‘I didn’t realise how debilitating a stroke could be – I can barely lift myself up from bed without getting short of breath and everything makes me tired.
‘I don’t know what I would have done without the amazing support and care I received from the nurses in ICU and on F4, where I am now.
‘They lifted my spirits at the lowest of times and made my experience somewhat tolerable.
‘The doctor has been very honest with me and my family about the chances of me getting the use of my left side back but I have already started getting feeling back in my arm.’
Charlotte said the doctors and nurses were a massive support for her family while she was in the coma.
‘The hardest part of the whole thing was seeing my family having to go through it with me and not be able to do anything to take their pain away,’ she said.
‘The staff really helped them come to terms with it.’
Charlotte hopes her story will raise awareness of strokes in younger people.
She added: ‘People don’t realise that someone young can have a stroke, too. I’m hoping that my story is a powerful reminder that strokes can and do happen to younger people.’