NEW Stroke: Daisy, part 3

Daisy had a stroke when she was 21 months old. Now aged 12, Daisy and her mum Eileen tell us about their lives and what they enjoy.

Daisy going to school
Mum Eileen first shared Daisy’s story and her own experience when Daisy was nine years old. Nine-year-old Daisy also told us about her stroke, her achievements and what she liked doing. Three years since, and 10 years since the stroke, Daisy has started secondary school (September 2018) and has a real passion for animals. We caught up with the family – Daisy told us about her life while mum Eileen explained how she’s learnt along the way since Daisy’s stroke, especially as there was little knowledge about childhood stroke when Daisy was a baby. You can also follow Daisy on her Facebook page Daisy Child Stroke Survivor.  

Daisy, 12 years old

Daisy

Daisy, what do you like doing?

Playing with my pets. I have five dogs and five cats. 

How do you find school?

Good. It’s been hard but I’m going part-time and I’m managing better. I have anxiety but I’m trying hard to manage. 

Is anything tricky for you and have you got any helpful tips?

I find zips difficult and tying laces. I use my mouth to hold things to help my left hand. I just try different things to see what works. 

What's the best thing you've done – and what makes you proud?

Leaving my mum to go places and going to school every morning. I get really worked up around Christmas but this year I’m managing better with all the decorations and noise.  I’m using big words now.  

Eileen, mum of Daisy

Daisy and Eileen

Eileen, can you tell us a bit about Daisy and her favourite things?

Daisy loves swimming. She goes several times a week when she’s feeling up to it and can swim fabulously one-armed and she’s self-taught too. We’ve been going swimming since Daisy’s stroke in 2008. At one point we went three times a day for 12 months. Daisy’s has a wonderful new power chair funded through Whizz-Kidz charity and it’s made a massive difference to our lives. It’s all terrain so we love going walking through the woods especially.

How was primary school for Daisy?

Sadly primary school wasn’t a great experience. Daisy found it very difficult. The social side was traumatic for her and the constant change of staff caused severe anxiety. She had one-to-one support but no one ever understood her emotional needs to a sufficient level.  

Daisy started secondary school in September – how is she finding it?

Daisy attends a special needs secondary school. She has a phobia about school and her fatigue really affects her but she’s still trying to attend. They have been supportive of her needs and she’s currently attending part-time. 

What challenges does Daisy face and how does she manage them?

Daisy needs rests during the day so letting her have quiet time is a necessity. She likes having notice of things like appointments or even days out BUT not too much notice or she will burn out going over every possible outcome or perceived problem.  Daisy definitely likes to be given control as much as possible. Persevering with issues seems to be working for us.     

What makes Daisy (and you) smile?

Daisy loves animals and spending money on animals. She has five dogs and five cats. She loves stuffed toys too. Daisy loves watching movies and YouTube Vloggers, which is a new thing.   She makes me smile with her sense of humour. We laugh every day. I love seeing her confidence build up and her humour is excellent. Things are still improving daily; Daisy is incredible.
Daisy and Eileen
 

Do you think there is more awareness about childhood stroke now?

Without a doubt it’s definitely more openly discussed. When I heard about childhood strokes my child was in a hospital bed fighting for her life. No charities had any leaflets or awareness campaigns specifically for child strokes. I’m honoured to have helped change that [The Stroke Association has many resources on childhood stroke]. 

What message would you give to a parent whose child has had a stroke?

You are a lucky one. Be ready to put the effort in and reap amazing rewards.  
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