independent

Friday 1 August 2014

Rebecca bouncing back from the horror of stroke

John Manning

Published 20/08/2013|05:32

  • Share
Little Rebecca Lawlor, aged five (pictured on the right) with her older sister, Grace.

A COURAGEOUS five-year-old from Skerries is being held up as an example of how to bounce back from the trauma of a stroke with a smile on your face, a year on from the dramatic event that changed her young life.

  • Share
  • Go To

A COURAGEOUS five-year-old from Skerries is being held up as an example of how to bounce back from the trauma of a stroke with a smile on your face, a year on from the dramatic event that changed her young life.

Little Rebecca Lawlor's smile hides the trauma she has had to go through since suffering a massive stroke in the bath tub when she was four.

The Lawlor family who now live in Skerries, were living in west Fingal at the time and Rebecca's mother, Irena, will never forget that fateful day.

The first signs of trouble emerged at the local Superquinn when Rebecca threw up.

'She vomited when we went to the local Superquinn on the Monday evening and on the way back home she was very sleepy,' said Irena.

'When we got home she slept for a couple of hours which wasn't really like her – she was always a very active and energetic child.'

Rebecca began to run a high temperature and her parents began to worry and called the local D-Doc service. The advice from D-Doc was to run a warm bath and see if that helped to bring the four-year-old's temperature down.

But it was then that events took a turn for the worse and Rebecca had a seizure in the bath tub.

Her parents called an ambulance and, at first, the paramedics were not too concerned and assured the Lawlors that seizures were common among children running high temperatures.

In Temple Street Hospital, Rebecca's condition was put down to a 'vomiting bug' although a nurse had noted her concern that the four-year-old's left side had lost some sensation.

The family reluctantly went home but Irena's parental instinct told her something was seriously wrong.

Unfortunately her instinct proved to be correct and, 12 hours later, Rebecca was back in hospital and a CT scan revealed she had suffered a stroke.

Describing her reaction to the awful news, Irena said: 'I just fell apart, we all did.'

The cause for the stroke remains a mystery but there is one theory that it could be linked to a bout of chickenpox Rebecca suffered prior to the stroke. Whatever the reason for the challenge that had been put on their plate, the Lawlor family and little Rebecca had to face it, and face it they did.

Five weeks in hospital followed by five months in the National Rehabilitation Centre, put Rebecca on the long road to recovery and she went through her exhausting treatment without a complaint, showing immense courage.

Irena cannot thank the staff at the rehab centre enough for their care of Rebecca.

'She went into that place in a wheelchair and she walked out of it – it is an amazing place,' said Irena.

Rebecca's treatment is ongoing. She has regained a lot of her movement on the left side but still has paralysis of the left arm.

She has just started work at speech and language therapy and regularly attends the Central Remedial Clinic in Clontarf.

Rebecca's astounding courage was honoured last year with an award from the Irish Heart Foundation who gave her a 'Life After Stroke' award.

Now, Rebecca's mother, Irena, who nominated her daughter last year, is leading the call for nominations for this year's award before the September 20 deadline. To nominate someone for the award, visit stroke.ie.

Irena wants to get one more message out there too and that is that a stroke can strike anyone, anytime, of any age and she urges parents to follow their instincts and if those instincts tell you that your child is suffering more than the medics have told you, then speak up.

Fingal Independent

Read More

Classifieds

CarsIreland

Independent Shopping.ie

Meet, chat and connect with
singles in your area

Independent Shopping.ie

Meet Singles Now

Findajob

Apps

Now available on

GrabOne Deals

News