Stroke survivor whose daughter suffered strokes after birth backs Christmas charity appeal
A STROKE survivor whose daughter also suffered three strokes minutes after birth has appealed to people to support a charity that has helped them rebuild their lives.
Elena Lynn (37) from Lisburn has described how the Stroke Association has "helped us know that we're not on our own".
Almost 39,000 people are living with the effects of stroke in Northern Ireland, while around 4,000 people have a stroke every year.
Ms Lynn suffered a stroke in 2014 and six years on still experiences pain and difficulty with movement on her left side as well as problems with balance, memory loss and depression.
"The months after my stroke were really tough," she said.
"I felt so depressed and very negative. I kept thinking, ‘why me’ and what was I going to do now."
When she was pregnant with her daughter Esther, now aged three, she suffered high blood pressure at around 36 weeks.
"The day Esther was born I wasn't very well at all myself," she said.
"Esther was born about midnight and straight away there were complications and Esther had to be resuscitated.
"When she did finally breathe, she started to fit.
"She spent three days in the neo-natal unit and when they did a MRI scan they discovered that she'd had three strokes in the first few minutes after birth."
Despite the multiple strokes, Ms Lynn she is "great now".
"When we think back to how sick she was at the beginning, we’re just so thankful," she said.
"She's up and about walking and talking and we're working with her on her speech.
"In the early days, we worried when she didn't hit those milestones that parents look out for, like rolling around but when she got up on her feet and started to walk, that was it, you couldn't stop her."
Ms Lynn received support from the Stroke Association and is asking for donations to its Hope After Stroke Christmas appeal.
"It's helped us know that we're not on our own," she said.
"That someone is there that you can turn to if you need support."
Ursula Ferguson from the Stroke Association said: "This pandemic has had a serious impact on our ability to raise funds through our usual community events and activities.
"Many people in our support services have praised the support they received from the Stroke Association, to build on that first glimmer of hope so that they could rebuild their lives after stroke.
"Hope might be found in a call to our helpline; through the friendship and support of our online community; or the ongoing support of our Stroke Association Support Coordinators.
"Rebuilding lives is impossible without hope. And that's why we're asking everyone across Northern Ireland to donate to the Stroke Association and help give someone the gift of hope this Christmas."
To donate or for more information please visit stroke.org.uk/hope.