Teenager with locked-in syndrome amazes doctors with recovery

A teenage girl, who sustained a catastrophic brain haemorrhage at the age of 13, is making an amazing recovery, thanks to her determination and care.

Miranda Meldrum, now 14, suffered the almost fatal brain haemorrhage in 2017, which left her with locked-in syndrome, where the mind stays alert but the body is paralysed.

Just over a year later and Miranda is astonishing both her doctors and carers with the progress she has made towards recovery. In September of last year, she was learning to communicate via sign language, but now her natural speech is improving by the day, along with her movement.

Her steady recovery is helped by the dance therapy she is receiving and her consultant believes that Miranda’s youth is a key factor in her success. She says: “Locked-in syndrome is a very rare condition. Most of the literature suggests that patients do almost universally badly. Miranda’s not falling into that category. There has been a paper published in 2009 that suggests that perhaps children have a rather better prognosis and maybe patients who have intensive early rehabilitation have a better prognosis.”

At the time of her brain haemorrhage Miranda also suffered a cardiac arrest and the subsequent locked-in syndrome has meant her brain has had to relearn the actions that once came naturally.

Speaking about the rate of her progress, Miranda’s mom, Dr Stella Meldrum, said: “Every day there’s been something new – head, shoulder, other arm, body and then within about six weeks she suddenly started to sit up in the bed and then she did her first stand. And then she’s done some steps, which was on my birthday.”

The family has set up a fundraising page to help pay for the modifications needed, once Miranda is able to return home.

Enviva Paediatric Care provides nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people. To find out more about our services, contact us today.