class=”alignleft wp-image-1311 ” src=”http://differentstrokes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Emma-Love-171×300.jpg” alt=”” width=”180″ height=”316″ />”I’m Emma and I had my stroke in May 2017 (aged 27). I had started university in March to follow my dream career of becoming a Paediatric Nurse and on the Wednesday (the day of my stroke) I had successfully completed a presentation assignment. As we had completed the assignment some of my friends and I decided to go out for a few drinks to celebrate. I woke up the next morning and couldn’t work out why I couldn’t see anything out of my left eye. I called out to my friend and she came rushing in. We went to A&E where an eye doctor saw me. He explained that he thought I had an eye infection and to go home to rest.
After two days spent in bed convinced I had a migraine associated with the eye infection, my friend from home came to visit me. He quickly realised that something was not right. By this time my speech was not making any sense, I was very sensitive to light and I had severe cramp down my left leg. He took me straight back to A&E where they thought I was having a bad migraine but, just to be sure they sent me to have a CT scan.
The next thing I knew a doctor came into the room and told me that they had seen something on the scan and that I would need to stay in for more tests. At this point I had no idea what they had seen; and I was terrified. It wasn’t until I was taken for another scan and moved to the stroke unit that I realised what had happened. All I could think was… I am too young to be on this ward – the people on this ward are so much more ill than me etc. It still hadn’t sunk in.
It was found that I had a dissection of my carotid artery – which meant I had two clots; one to my brain and one to my eye. After a month in hospital undergoing various tests and therapy I was allowed home, supported by the early supported discharge service. The early supported discharge service was great! The very next day after discharge from hospital they visited me at home and put together a therapy plan including a specialist support worker nurse, physio and speech and language and occupational therapies. I can’t thank them enough.
Now after 6 months off and a lot of hard work and determination I am back at university and again pursuing my dreams. It’s not easy some days. Sometimes I struggle with the loss of vision in my left eye, the fatigue, and my speech. I would say to other younger survivors to never give up and be positive. I truly believe positivity and determination got me back to where I am today! I am so thankful to all my family, friends, doctors, nurses, Different Strokes and everyone else who have supported me and got me this far.”