Belfast mum (39) tells of battle back from stroke while pregnant
A MOTHER-of-two from Belfast left unable to move parts of her body after suffering a stroke when she was 10 weeks pregnant has spoken of her uphill battle to fight the devastating condition.
Lisa Lecky (39) woke up in hospital in March 2015, unable to move her leg and arm.
Already mum to 13-month-old Conor and expecting her second child with partner Adam Jones, her world was turned upside down.
She went from the excitement of pregnancy to wondering whether she or the baby would have a normal existence or even survive.
Once her condition stabilised, she underwent significant stroke rehabilitation, all while coping with the usual pressures of pregnancy.
Ms Lecky, from south Belfast, spent six months in hospital before Orla’s birth in September 2015 but the impact of her stroke meant she was unable to lift or feed her newborn baby.
“At what should have been a happy time for my family, I spent time worrying over how I could be an active mum to Orla and Conor,” she said.
“I’ve put so much hard work into my rehabilitation after my stroke so that I could help to feed Orla and do as much as possible for my children.
“I also wanted build a strong bond with Orla and to rebuild bond with Conor.”
The family moved in with Ms Lecky’s parents, who helped with her children, allowing her time to concentrate on intensive rehabilitation.
“I’ve lost the use of my left arm permanently and I have limited mobility in my leg but I feel lucky as I never lost my speech and cognitively I’m ok,” she said.
“My family have been incredible. I feel very lucky to have such strong family support. My initial recovery goal post-stroke was to take my daughter Orla for a short walk around the park, which I am now able to do.”
Ms Lecky has started a phased return to her job as an office administrator.
“I never thought I would be able to get back to work,” she said.
“At the moment I’m just building my hours up to see what I’m capable of but I love being able to get back to work and completing another milestone after my stroke.
“The next one is getting back to driving. I would love to not have to rely on anyone to get places or just be able to take my children out for the day without having to plan it in advance.
“My goals for the future are to be physically strong and fit enough to be able to look after my children on my own for long periods of time and complete and sustain my return to work.”
Ms Lecky has spoken publicly to raise awareness of the Stroke Association’s ‘Make May Purple’ campaign, which aims to inform the public of the impact of stroke and how to help prevent the condition.
Carmel Lavery from the charity said Ms Leckey’s progress has been “nothing short of amazing”.
“Lisa is an inspiration to other stroke survivors and is always sharing her experiences and tips with others, to help them recover too,” she said.
“Sadly every year there are more than 4,000 strokes in Northern Ireland. By supporting Make May Purple you are can help us to support more people like Lisa and to raise vital funds for innovative research into stroke care and treatment.”
:: For information please visit www.stroke.org.uk/makemaypurple