Girl’s rare recovery from ‘locked-in’ syndrome

Miranda Meldrum, 13, hopes to be home for Christmas after making a rare recovery from “locked-in” syndrome caused by a brain haemorrhage.

The teenage girl was left imprisoned in a paralysed body after she suffered from a stroke in April 2017.

At one stage, hospital doctors’ even asked the 13-year-old’s mother Stella, if she would agree to her daughter’s life-support system being turned off.

However, Miranda began to recover and learned to communicate by blinking to yes and no questions.

After eight months, the determined girl slowly regained movement in almost all of her body and is able to talk and walk with support. With her physiotherapists, she is working towards her target of being well enough to spend Christmas at home.

After Miranda started suffering from severe headaches and loss of hearing, her mother took her straight to A&E.

While the doctors were accessing her, the young girl went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. After being resuscitated and rushed into intensive care, a team of 20 doctors’ drained blood from her brain stem, ultimately, the fast responsive team is what saved her life.

Stella puts her daughter’s recovery down to Miranda’s strength of personality, visits from friends, plus relatives’ efforts to keep talking to her and playing music.

“Even when she was being wheeled down the corridor for a CT scan I put earphones in her ears. I believed that the music would keep her going,” her mother said.

Miranda said: “Music has been my sanity. I could see a light at the end. I was channelling positive thoughts; my brain wouldn’t let me think negatively.

“I was thinking most of the time ‘move’. Nothing happened. Then ‘move’ and still nothing and then ‘move’ and there was a little flicker.

“Now after being on a neurorehabilitation ward for 14 months I can move every part of my body and I am able to eat and walk, with help.”

Miranda’s consultant, Paediatric Neurologist Peta Sharples, said the teenager’s recovery may be due to her youth. She said: “Locked-in syndrome is a very rare condition. Almost all patients do badly. But, Miranda’s not falling into that category.”

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