My name is Adam and my wife, Kate, is the most determined and selfless person I know. She’s also in the fight of her life after a severe brain haemorrhage left her paralysed.
On 2nd December 2021, Kate had an acute pontine stroke – a very rare brain bleed so serious it usually results in death. It happened, with no warning, in-front of me and Stan, our seven-year old son. Kate was rushed to Rotherham General Hospital and placed into an induced coma. We called for family as doctors thought she wouldn’t make it through the night.
Thankfully she lived to fight another day, but the consultant warned he’d never seen anyone survive this type of stroke.
A week later Kate opened her eyes for the first time. Still totally paralysed, suffering from ‘locked in syndrome’, she could only tell Stan she loved him by lifting her eyes three times.
At this point, I was asked by the consultant to accept the likelihood of death or severe disability. The outlook was bleak.
But then little miracles started to happen…
Powered by a Rocky montage playlist put together by friends, Kate channelled her legendary stubbornness and started to make gradual improvements. Over the next few weeks, with the help of the incredible hospital doctors, nurses, physios, occupational therapists and speech therapists she got feeling back in her left side, then her right side and can now stand up. After a tracheotomy removal, she started to learn how to speak again and can now be understood most of the time.
Today, Kate is absolutely determined to continue retraining her brain. Against the odds, there is a chance she will be able to regain full feeling and mobility through extensive physio work. However, with limited NHS funding available, we must make important decisions now about the next phases of her rehab.
Kate has spent her adult life supporting the Rotherham community to get active. In 2013 she founded Rotherham Parkrun to encourage local participation and is still volunteer Parkrun Director. As a Public Health Specialist for Rotherham Council for almost 20 years, she is motivated by seeing people doing sport and exercise. Since the stroke, she’s said her aim is to work and volunteer again.
I am asking for the community to help supercharge Kate’s recovery. She is making so many amazing improvements, but we have to move her ASAP. The best place to continue her miraculous recovery is a specialist stroke rehab facility. Unfortunately, Rotherham Hospital doesn’t have a dedicated rehab ward. Although funding for an external facility has been requested, it is far from guaranteed and it could take 3 months for a decision to be made. Kate doesn’t have time to wait.
Reaching our fundraising target will pay for 6 weeks of intensive private rehabilitation and give Kate the best possible chance of making a good recovery. If we surpass this target, or if NHS funding is secured, we will use donations to fund essential alterations to our house to accommodate Kate’s return. If we raise more, I will give it back to the wonderful NHS.
Stan broke my heart last week when he said, “I’m jealous of my friends because they have their mummies and I don’t”.
Kate, me and Stan would massively appreciate any donations, big or small, to help speed up her recovery and get her home.
- Michael Mann
- Emma Renwick