Teenager Georgina Williams has told of her amazing fight back to health after suffering a stroke last year at the age of 17.
Last June she had finished her AS-levels at Hardenhuish School when she went to her home in Monkton Park, Chippenham, to bed with a severe headache.
Now 18, she said: “When I woke up I couldn’t stand light and I struggled to walk. My head felt like I was going to explode.”
At first doctors thought she had meningitis, then sinusitis. But she got progressively worse and an MI scan showed possible venous sinus thrombosis, an extremely rare form of stroke that affects only three to four in one million people.
Her mum Debbie Williams said: “She lost feeling and hearing on her left side and had huge memory loss.
“We’d just started to look at universities for her. You think that strokes just happen to older people, but that’s not the case.”
In the past eight months Georgina has recovered so well that, despite spending a few weeks in a wheelchair and then needing to use a zimmer frame, she is now out running.
She and her mum plan to do the Chippenham Half Marathon this year and ran a 5k race at Lydiard Park, Swindon, in preparation.
Mrs Williams said: “When she was bed-ridden she made me promise we would do it when she was better. She’s so determined, she made me so focused.”
Georgina said she wasn’t sporty previously but the shock of what happened shook up her outlook.
“It’s made me realise that life is short and you need to get the most out of it, grab all the opportunities you can,” she said.
Georgina regained full hearing in December and now suffers only from a little memory loss and tinnitus, and is looking to finish her A-levels in Gloucester from September and fulfil her ambition of doing a degree in veterinary science.
She managed to get four AS-levels at grades A to C, including Bs in biology and chemistry.
She said: “Looking back, I see what happened to me as insignificant. People go through a lot worse. When I was doing rehab, some of the things I saw at Frenchay made me realise how lucky I was.”
Her parents, John and Debbie Williams, who run a heating services firm on Bumpers Farm, have organised a ball with all proceeds going to the Stroke Association.
The black tie event, which will also celebrate the 10th anniversary of the firm, takes place in the town hall on Saturday, April 5, from 7pm to midnight.
Tickets cost £15 and are available until February 28 on (01249) 709024.