In August 2015 Harley aged 2, her Mum Bo and her Granny were out for an afternoon walk. It was a beautiful sunny day and Harley had just got her hair cut. Harley had a slight case of chicken pox, but this was normal for a child of her age. She felt very tired, even after her midday sleep but they continued on their walk. Harley had been at a birthday party and was showing off her dancing skills when suddenly she fell. Her mum picked her up and noticed she felt very heavy, like a dead weight. She passed Harley her to granny and saw her face. Harley’s face had fallen to one side and she began to make unfamiliar sounds. Harley was trying to speak but couldn’t get any words out. There was an instant panic. She had taken a Stroke!!
Bo was in a state of panic. A helpful man rushed the family to the Royal where help was waiting. An act of kindness like this saved Harley’s life. Bo says, “It was the scariest experience of my life. I didn’t know what to do as my daughter lay lifeless in my arms. I was screaming and running for help. Someone was looking over us that day and sent this man to save us. God bless him!”
Harley fell in and out of consciousness, had no movement or speech. Things weren’t looking good. Her parents and family had now come to the hospital for support. They were told by the Royal that Harley had taken a stroke due to a clot caused by Chicken Pox that had worked its way to the brain. This was not what any mother wanted to hear.
Harley stayed in the Royal to try and get her mobility and speech back. She was refered to the Paul Ward where they treated her like a princess. She made a great recovery thanks to the care she received in The Royal. By week 5 Harley was able to walk around holding her dad’s hand for support.
Harley’s recovery has been incredible. She now wears a splint on her leg but is able to run around like any other child. She loves playing outdoors with her cousins and her dog. Harley has limited use of her left hand but she calls this “her helping hand.” She says her helping hand is starting to wake up from its big long sleep.
Harley’s mum Bo contacted Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke when they got out of hospital. They had been given a special pram to keep Harley sitting upright but it didn’t have a rain cover. Fiona our Director of Care Services visited Bo, Harley and their family to provide a covering for the pram. As it was now winter the days were colder and Bo felt like Harley never got out of the house but thanks to this special rain cover, Harley was able to enjoy the outdoors without the worry of becoming sick. Bo says, “I am now more confident taking Harley out of the house as her cover kept her all snug and warm. A simple item like this made such a difference to our lives.” Bo is incredibly grateful for the help NICHS gave her at her time of need. As you can see from the photo Harley is a beautiful little girl with a bright future ahead. Often life can be tough but there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Find out more about the stroke support that Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke offers.