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Running Free: an inspirational true story of one woman’s battle with locked-in Syndrome

[ 7 July 2011 | Print This Post ]
7 July 2011

It’s not often Unshredded shows its serious side, but we’ve been so moved by Kate’s story that we wanted to share it.

Most of us are guilty of worrying about the trivial things in life: what to wear on a Friday night, what books to take on holiday, washing our hair Can you imagine being trapped inside your own body? Able to see and hear everything going on around you but unable to move or speak – blinking your eyes your only way of trying to communicate.

40 year old, fell-runner and fun-loving mother-of-three Kate Allatt from Dore, near Sheffield experienced just that. On February 7, 2010 when what appeared to be a stress-related headache exploded into a massive brainstem stroke leading to locked-in syndrome. Totally paralysed, apart from her eyelids, she became a prisoner inside her own body. Doctors warned her family she would never walk, talk or swallow or lead a normal life again.

But they underestimated Kate’s sheer determination. The words no and never were not in her vocabulary. With the help of her best friends and family she drew on every ounce of her runner’s stamina and determination to make a recovery that amazed medical experts.

Using a letter chart, Kate blinked the words “I will walk again”. Soon she was moving her thumb and communicating with the world via Facebook. Eight months after her stroke, Kate said goodbye to her nurses, walked out of hospital and returned home to learn how to run again.

Since her stroke she has set up her own charity Fighting Strokes to help support and inspire other survivors of strokes and locked-in syndrome.

Running Free is a truly moving and inspirational story of survival that celebrates life, friendship and sheer bloody-mindedness.


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