Living life with hemiplegia

This week is Hemiplegia Awareness Week, organised by the charity HemiHelp to build awareness and understanding of the condition. HemiHelp is a charity that provides support for people with hemiplegia and their families at every stage of their lives.  Hemiplegia is a challenge many children and young people face following brain injury.

What is hemiplegia?

The brain is set up so that the left part of the brain controls the movement on the right side of the body, and vice versa. So if an injury occurs in one side of the brain, some children experience weakness or paralysis in the opposite side of the body this is known as hemiplegia. HemiHelp have created this brilliant video which explains more about hemiplegia:

Living with hemiplegia 

Bethany

Bethany

  Bethany had a stroke when she was 17-years old, caused by a combination of a hole in my heart and the contraceptive pill. It left her with hemiplegia. Bethany says:
Now, I have weakness down my left side.  It does move, just not perfectly like before. Having been told I wouldn't walk or talk again, I am now walking on my own and talking. It's not perfect but it'll get better with time."
Read more about Bethany’s story here.

Addison

Addison

  Addison suffered seizures and was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy just before her second birthday.  She suffered some brain damaged which caused hemiplegia. Addison’s mum says:
Even simple things such as holding her cup in her ‘bad’ hand would have to be relearnt. Luke and I nicknamed it her ‘magic’ hand as we tried our best to encourage her and make things less frightening."
Read more about Addison’s story here.

Jamie

Jamie

  Jamie, who is now 15-years-old, was knocked down by a car when he was five years old, he suffered a bleed on the brain and two punctured lungs and developed a left-sided hemiplegia.  Jamie's Mum says:
Jamie’s brain injury left him with stroke-like symptoms down the left side of his body, which meant he had to learn to walk again.  He began shuffling about on his bum, then he learned to crawl and eventually stood up and was getting about with a walking frame. As a mother it was at times difficult to have to watch him start over again."
Read more about Jamie’s story here.

Daisy

Daisy

  As a 21-month-old baby, Daisy suffered a stroke and brain injury during heart surgery. This resulted in right-sided weakness. Daisy's mum says:
Encouraging movement has been relatively easy after the initial two years. She didn't enjoy the standard types of physiotherapy sessions so we did play-led exercises which were great. Sand pits and hand paining were her favourites. I found showing her videos online of other survivors using their affected side encouraged her to try, and we call her affected side 'special side'"
In this video Daisy is working hard to use her ‘special side’.  
You can read more about Daisy’s story here.   HemiHelp worked with a group of young people with hemiplegia to discuss, plan and film a short film. The following video gives a great insight into what it is like to live with hemiplegia and features the views and feelings of young people and also includes interviews with their parents.  
You can find more hemiplegia information and support on the HemiHelp website.
Share page
Print page
Follow us