Friday, 27 April 2012

18th October 2011

18th October 2011
Mum came sleepily in to the bedroom unaware of what she was about to see. She asked me what was wrong before turning on my bedroom light, and all I could reply was, ' I can't move.'
As she turned the light on, I could see it in her wide eyes. The colour drained from her cheeks. She climbed on my bed, stroked my face and told me everything was going to be OK. Then she ran from my room to get the house phone to dial 999, and I could hear the panic in her voice as she asked the question, 'What the hell is going on?'
My mums reaction only confirmed my fear.  I burst in to tears and my whole body went in to shock and began to shake uncontrollably. I felt trapped. My mind was working but my body wasn't.
My sister heard the commotion and knowing something was wrong, I heard her wearily ask mum, 'What's wrong with Bec?'
What was wrong? What was happening?
Mum was in overdrive. She was trying to calm me down, telling me everything was going to be OK, while at the same time getting herself out of her pyjamas and into day clothes... It was the fastest quick change I've ever witnessed.
Looking back we laugh at how mum was coping with such a traumatic shock, attempting to tone down the drama of the situation we were faced with, as much as possible.  Really, she was proving quite a quintessential British attitude, as while we were awaiting the arrival of the paramedics, she thought it important to have a quick tidy up of my bedroom...
In no time at all there was a knock at the door, and a strange man dressed in green appeared at my side introducing himself as part of the paramedic team. I was asked question after question. What were my symptoms? Did I have any pain? When did I lose the feeling in my left side? Then he started testing my memory. What was my name, my date of birth, my mum and dads names, where I lived... What was happening?
The paramedics were acting quickly, testing the strength of my left side, assessing the movement and sensation. Not even the professionals could hide their concern of the seriousness of the situation.
Throughout the paramedics testing and assessing, the main paramedic kept looking at my face... 'Not my face,' I thought, 'Please not my face, I'm 21!' He sensitively said to my mum, 'As I don't know Rebecca, I need to rely on you to tell me if the droop in her face is unusual...' It was unusual. The left side of my face had dropped.
An involuntary, exasperated moan left my body. My hysterical crying had turned in to silent sobs... None of this made any sense. Just hours before I was fine.

I was strapped in to a wheel chair and carried down the stairs and out of my house, my mum following close behind, hurriedly throwing instructions at my sister to phone my dad, and meet us at the hospital.
It was cold, and the sun was only just making an appearance. The ambulance was ready for me, engines on and doors wide open. I remember seeing bedroom curtains twitching from all angles of the quiet cul-de-sac I live on, knowing that the curiosity must have been overwhelming.
I was lifted on to the bed in the ambulance and strapped up, my mum sat in the chair right beside me. I'll never forget seeing the doors of the ambulance closing, looking over at mum, and watching the giant tears roll down her cheeks.
Then, the sound of the Ambulance sirens blared...


  1. So frightening for you and your mum Becky. Well done with the excellent writing! xxx

  2. Really wonderful writing. Great idea to do a blog. Love to you all xxxxx

  3. Hey Becks my beautiful cousin, this is lovely writing. I know how frightening it was for your Mum, Dad and Anna. We were worried too. I'm just so happy that you have come through it with the grit and determination that you have shown. Because of who you are and the type of wonderful person that you are you will achieve your wishes and your dreams because you deserve it.
    Love ya
    Sandra xxxx

  4. Bec this is so amazingly written it made tears roll down my face! It gives everyone such an insight into what you went through that day and also reminds us all how lucky we are to have you. Please turn this talent you have into a fabulous writing career because this was honestly one of the most moving things I have ever read.
    Love your favourite literary critic, Jose xxxx

  5. Sat here with tears running down my cheeks! Your experience must have been terrifying!!
    My cousin suffered a massive stroke just before her final year exams at Uni, and we were all asked to go into hospital to say our goodbyes. 15 years later, she is still with us, married with a son! We are all so proud of her, and how well she has recovered!! She is has a high flying job with Shell and travels the world. She still has problems like no feeling in her left arm, but it works, and she copes.
    I am looking forward to continuing the read and finding out how you progress on your journey!

    I also feel this is an incredibly brave thing to do, to tell us all how you felt! I don't know you, and have never met you, but right now I'm sending love and hugs to a young lady who I can imagine is going to be an inspiration to us all!!


  6. Your writing is beautiful, and your story is tragic. But you're strength is evident through every word. I write myself, I study film+tv screenwriting. You're very brave to tell you're story and I hope it writing will help you heal xxx

  7. Can I just say I was crying reading this as I am also 21 and a stroke survivor, although mine happened at a very young age. Also the right side of my brain, left side of my body. But The main reason I commented here was because as I read the last line "Then, the sound of the Ambulance sirens blared..." I swear to god literally as I was reading it an ambulance going past my house turned on it's siren.