Sunderland woman lost ability to speak or walk after suffering 'migraines'

A 29-year-old woman from Sunderland has set out to raise awareness after being diagnosed with a neurological disorder following painful migraine symptoms.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 4:55 am
Ally says she has accepted that she won't be able to walk again following her functional neurological disorder diagnosis.

Ally Oakes, 29, from Hendon was diagnosed last year with Functional Neurological Disorder, a medical condition where there is a problem with the functioning of the nervous system.

The 29-year-old says she will have to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life and has recently regained her speech after being non-verbal for six months.

Ally, who works for Amazon began noticing a pain in her head after a suspected migraine when she partially lost her sight.

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Ally, 29 was diagnosed with a brain disorder in 2020.

The sharp pain progressed to the back of her head and neck before a doctor recommended a physiotherapist after scans and but was told tests had come back clear.

However the 29-year-old’s health deteriorated quickly when she collapsed at work in January 2020 and was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Ally lost her speech and her ability to walk before she was diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder.

She said: “I knew something was wrong because I was weak on my right side and I couldn't speak, then when I tried to walk I realised my legs weren’t functioning either.

Ally Oakes says her partner Chel Cartledge is her 'support system'.

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"I worked with a speech therapist, physio and psychiatrist and I was up for the fight because I wanted to get better.”

Ally spent four weeks in hospital in a bid to recover her speech and mobility.

She said: “My speech is a lot better now and it was incredibly scary leaving hospital because I had to try and live with this new complex disability.

"It’s been really hard to come to terms with it because I used to be so active and now I have accepted that walking isn’t something I can do anymore.”

Ms Oakes, who lives with her partner Chel Cartledge now suffers from daily seizures, but the determined 29-year-old wants to spread awareness of the disorder.

The Amazon employee said: “I’m still learning about the condition and I could be bitter but I could also enjoy life – I’m not going to miss out on anything.”

Her sister Rachel Tomlinson, who set up the appeal, said that Ally is “an absolute warrior”.Ally added: “I’m so grateful for the support from everyone and I won’t let this condition take over my life.”

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