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Running Free: Breaking Out from Locked-in Syndrome Paperback – 18 May 2011
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Can you imagine being trapped inside your own body? Able to see and hear everything going on around you but unable to move or speak - the blink of an eye your only way of communicating. Fell-runner and fun-loving mother-of-three Kate Allatt's life was torn apart when what appeared to be a stress-related headache exploded into a massive brainstem stroke leading to locked-in syndrome. Totally paralysed, she became a prisoner inside her own body. Doctors warned her family she would never walk, talk or swallow or lead a normal life again. But they didn't know Kate. The words no and never were not in her vocabulary. With the help of her best friends and family she drew on every ounce of her runner's stamina and determination to make a recovery that amazed medical experts. Using a letter chart, Kate blinked the words "I will walk again". Soon she was moving her thumb and communicating with the world via Facebook. Eight months after her stroke, Kate said goodbye to nurses, walked out of hospital and returned home to learn how to run again. This is the story of her incredible journey.
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So why the low rating? I agree with another reviewer that she gives no credit to the medical staff involved in her care and recovery. Her attitude towards her husband is astonishing - he was at her side day and night and trying to hold it all together and yet she seems continually critical of him, even after recovery and throughout her marriage. I guess some men like to be constantly bossed around and derided! Her friends and both sets of parents are amazing - looking after the three badly-behaved kids for months on end must have been totally draining. I wonder where the kids they get their attitude?!
I see another reviewer has written about how his wife was one of those working 12 hours a day to first save Kate's life and then rehabilitate her, and how selfish and ungrateful she was.
So - she'd probably give me a "row" for daring to say all this. I hope one day she will realise the world doesn't and didn't revolve around her and to be kinder and more appreciative , but I do still admire her tenacity and courage
This book made me feel anger. Real anger.She comes across as a totally self centred, unfeeling, unkind, ignorant and greedy woman.
Some of the things she does that she then blames on her condition ( Donkey braying with laughter at her best friends fathers funeral) is absolutely UNFORGIVEABLE and just one example of her cold attitude.
I would have thrown her ass out of there if it were me and she would no longer be my best mate that is for sure.
She doesn't come across as a kind person either before, during or after this event happened to her.
No one could convince me otherwise.
Truly hated this book.
The part towards the end regarding her "fans" is puke worthy and one of these people, on the way to her mums funeral writes to Kate - "Reading your story put it all in perspective".
How much worse does it get than losing your beloved Mum or Dad and being on the way to their funeral??!!
I would have been ashamed to put that in this book, but then I am NOTHING like Miss Allatt and she seems to thrive on attention, no matter how she gets it.
I have requested my money back. This is going in the bin.
I started reading running free straight away, as a fellow runner and mum, I identified with Kate. She wrights with honesty, a harrowing account of the lows and highs. Most important,y she shares many valuable lessons for survivors, family and friends and healthcare professionals.
I shall be using her story to teach the GPs and students I train about the importance of positivity, communication, and patient intuition
Thank you Kate
Dr Janey Merron
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