Ever been through the gates of hell? Kate Allatt has, and she returned to write a memoir of her experience with “Locked-In Syndrome” – a condition that left her unable to move a single muscle in her body, except her eyes. Her doctors and her family thought she was vegetative and unaware, lying in a hospital bed in a completely helpless state. Everyone, including the medical professionals speaking about her in the third person as if she were comatose. Except, she was not. She remained completely aware of her surroundings, in pain and discomfort, and powerless to let anyone know. It made me imagine being buried alive.
Kate had a brain stem stroke at her home in England. It reduced the former distance runner, athlete, wife, and mother to a mere shadow of her former self. With time, determination and the help of incredibly dedicated friends and family members, she found an inner strength that allowed her to recover from this unbearable condition enough to leave the hospital, return home, and become an inspiration to other stroke survivors.
Her book Running Free is a powerful and heartfelt telling of her ordeal. When you are reading it you will feel that you are right there in the ICU with her. It’s that well written, her writing style easy, conversational and light-hearted. I highly recommend reading it. It will put what you are suffering as a stroke survivor into perspective. There may be people that have suffered more than she has, but as of yet, I have not heard of a single one. I came away feeling that my own disabilities are minor in comparison and that overcoming them is indeed possible. Thanks, Kate!
Kate Allett is now a public speaker and activist. You can find her on Twitter: @KateAllat
Running Free: Breaking Out From Locked-In Syndrome, by Kate Allatt, $12.64 on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xtA6wr