A father of three who was left completely paralyzed after developing the locked syndrome has learned to spell words with his eyes.
Darren Leith has been ‘buried alive’ since he suddenly got a brain haemorrhage on April 28, 2017.
The 50-year-old is able to think, see and feel, but cannot eat, talk or move muscles beside his eyes.
Since his stroke, Mr. Leith has been cared for in a neuro-rehabilitation center in Southport, 160 km from his parental home in Barrow, Cumbria.
The former painter and decorator has learned to spell words by pointing his eyes at letters on a board. And during a recent visit from his children, he asked them to “take me home.”
To make sure he fits in with family life again, his family raises £ 20,000 (about £ 26,050) so that they can adapt their home to his needs.
Darren Leith was left completely paralyzed after a brain stem stroke in April 2017. Pictured in London with his now 23-year-old daughter Shannon in 2012, he developed a locked syndrome and learned to spell words with his eyes, the only muscles he could use
The 50-year-old can think, see and feel, but cannot eat, talk or move most of his muscles
Mr. Leith wrote on his plate (photo) during a visit from his two daughters ‘take me home’
Speaking of her father’s ordeal, his 23-year-old daughter Shannon Leith said: “The last time I went to visit him with my sister, he said,” Take me home two of you. “
“I know he’s better off at home. It is not fair not to have him there for two years.
“He is so depressed and wants to be home. It would be a dream for us. The last two years have been a living nightmare.
“It was the worst thing to get him away from us. We just want our dad back. “
Mr. Leith, who is also father of Kristen Leith, Connor, 24 and 11, was an enthusiastic kayaker and “dear father” for the ordeal, with the parenting roles now reversed so that his children take care of him.
“We just want him to be happy,” Miss Leith said. “The most important thing for us is to make sure that his life can be a little better.
“I know he misses home and I know how much he hates being away from his family.
“When we visit him, he smiles and is happy. But he cries a lot when he is alone. “
Mr. Leith is pictured on the left on the occasion of his 50th birthday at Cleveland House, where he has been almost two years, with his daughters Shannon (left) and Kristen. Shannon (pictured on the right with her father) says he is “so depressed and wants to be home”
Leith is pictured with his family during a happier time at Kirsten’s graduation in July 2016
Mr. Leith, who had cheated on his words, collapsed at his bedside after he got up on an “average” Friday morning in April 2017.
He had visited his doctor two days earlier and complained of headache, but was allegedly told that it was just a migraine and sent home.
Mr. Leith’s partner Kelly Freshwater, 43, called 999 and was rushed to the Furness General Hospital in Barrow-in-Furness.
When he arrived, Mr. Leith was placed in an induced coma while doctors tried to find out why he collapsed. However, all doctors could be sure at that time that he had not had a heart attack or some other type of stroke.
Leith was woken from the coma on April 31 and could not move anymore.
A neurologist was called in to assess Mr. Leith, then 48, where the medic confirmed that he had had a stroke of the brain stem and was locked up in his own body. The stroke was reportedly not picked up in scans due to the fact that he was completely in his brain.
His daughter Shannon claims that the specialist told her family that only one percent of people with a stroke have a lock-in syndrome.
“He told us he was completely paralyzed, but 100 percent can understand everything we say,” Mrs. Leith said.
“I was in complete denial. It was just awful to hear that. We have been told that it is incurable and that daddy will be like that forever.
“To begin with, I struggled to deal with it. It was absolutely awful. I was in bed and just tried to imagine what it would be like for him. It must be a living nightmare. It is like being buried alive.
‘I keep hoping that someday he will get better. I’ve been a mess since it all happened. “
Mr. Leith is pictured left left by his 11-year-old son Connor. Leith (depicted on his birthday) is ‘happy’ when he has visitors, but ‘cries a lot’ when he is alone
Mr. Leith (pictured in 2016) was an avid kayaker and very active before the test
He is pictured for his stroke with his partner Kelly Freshwater, 43
Mr. Leith spent the first eight months in the hospital before being moved to Cleveland House in December 2017; two hours’ drive from his family.
He receives one-on-one physiotherapy in the center. He fought hard to regain his muscle strength, and can now wring a few of his fingers and lift his head off his pillow.
Mr. Leith also learns how to write on a white board and stand with the help of a tilt table, with specialists who are optimistic, one day his muscles can remember how to move again.
“He is trying to become stronger and stronger and he is making progress,” Mrs. Leith said.
“But he does best when he is with us. He gains strength by spending time with his family. If he is always with us, we can try to help him much longer.
“We can give him the encouragement he needs.”
The family hopes to adapt their home to a stair lift, mobility aids and special bathroom supplies.
Miss Leith claims that his loved ones also work overtime to save as much money as possible. give here.
WHAT IS LOCKED SYNDROME?
Locked-in syndrome is a rare brain disorder that causes complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles except those that control eye movements.
Sufferers are aware, but cannot talk or move. Their cognitive function is usually influenced.
Locked-in syndrome is caused by damage to the brainstem that contains nerves that transfer information to other parts of the body.
Such damage usually occurs due to a lack of blood flow or bleeding after a trauma.
Patients cannot chew, swallow, speak or move apart from their eyes, but they can see and hear.
Most patients are bedridden and depend on their caregivers.
Treatment is aimed at relieving the underlying condition, such as bleeding, if possible.
Patients may need tubes to help them breathe.
Small tubes are also inserted into their stomachs for food and drink.
Sufferers can be taught to communicate through their eyes.