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.
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.
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.
"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.”
A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up to raise funds for new wheelchair for Ally, which has now raised over £5,000.