Imagine having a stroke that leaves your body's muscles paralyzed and robs your ability to speak, but you're still conscious and can think. Sounds like a living hell. Twenty-four-year-old Mark Ellis from the U.K. suffered exactly that fate due to a condition called locked-in syndrome. At just 22, Ellis' stroke left him in a coma, and after that, he was only able to communicate by moving his eyes. And as if things couldn't get worse, he was also told that a blood clot in his brainstem severely lowered his chances of ever being able to move his body again, reported The Telegraph.
But one thing the doctors likely couldn't have predicted was that Ellis' baby girl, Lola-Rose -- who was born just two weeks before his stroke -- would play a significant part in helping him regain his ability to speak. The story is nothing short of amazing ...
While Ellis was going through speech therapy and physiotherapy, his therapist encouraged him to attempt to copy his daughter, who was fortunately expressing herself already by babbling. His wife, Amy, told The Sun, "He started to make the same sounds, and then the words came too." Ellis also read books with his daughter to improve his speech and developed coordination by playing with her. So awesome!
His wife elaborated:
It’s amazing that they have learned to do things together and now Mark can talk and walk with the use of a frame. There wasn’t much time between him and Lola-Rose both taking their first steps -- I think Mark took his first steps a week or two after Lola. They use toys, books, games, and the iPad together to learn how to do things and communicate.
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As devastating as it is to think that an incredibly young father is facing challenges like these, the fact that he's pulling through in such an astounding way -- thanks to his "youth and mental strength" and his daughter -- is so heartening. And it sounds like there really is hope for him to continue to improve, in great part due to Lola.
How incredible is Mark and Lola Ellis's story?!