Teenager left with brain injury after suffering stroke aged 10 receives national award

Emily Simpson, now 13, is making excellent progress and has been given a Stroke Association's Young Persons Courage Award.

Emily Simpson
Emily Simpson was just 10-years-old when she collapsed at her Eaglescliffe home in 2012. She was taken to hospital where she suffered a second stroke and required emergency surgery to remove part of her skull. At one point, her parents were told she might not survive. Emily’s mum Carolyn, said: “It was such a shock when the consultant told me about Emily’s stroke. My heart dropped to my stomach. I couldn’t believe it as she was so young and healthy. The night they operated was the worst night of my life. “Eventually we were told the surgery had been a success. I went to see Emily and she looked so helpless. My beautiful daughter was surrounded by machines and wires.” After many tests, Emily, now 13, was diagnosed with central nervous system vasculitis and was left with an acquired brain injury which affected her communication and cognitive skills. But despite a gruelling therapy regime the Bishopsgarth School pupil is continuing to make a slow, but steady progress. She has since been presented with the Children and Young People’s Courage Award at a star-studded ceremony at the Rosewood Hotel in London. Carolyn added: “Emily’s recovery has been slow, but she has an irrepressible determination to get on with life. “She just lights up every room she is in and wants to be a model and an inspiration for other people with disabilities. I’m so proud of her. Emily has been through so much, but she keeps smiling through it all.” Jon Barrick, Chief Executive of the Stroke Association said: “It’s an honour to recognise someone as extraordinary as Emily. She’s been through more in her young life than many of us will ever have to and is using her experience of stroke to help others. Emily is truly remarkable and is a very worthy winner of this award.”
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