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Rare migraine leaves Redbridge mother-of-three in a wheelchair

PUBLISHED: 14:58 28 January 2016 | UPDATED: 15:17 28 January 2016

Tanya Monkman suffered a rare migraines which left unable to go out without her wheelchair. Photo: Paul Bennett

Tanya Monkman suffered a rare migraines which left unable to go out without her wheelchair. Photo: Paul Bennett

Archant

A mother of three is trying to recover her mobility after a rare migraine caused stroke-like symptoms leaving her temporarily paralysed.

Tanya Monkman before a rare migraine left her needing the use of a wheelchair. Photo: Tanya MonkmanTanya Monkman before a rare migraine left her needing the use of a wheelchair. Photo: Tanya Monkman

Tanya Monkman, 35, of Birkbeck Road, Newbury Park had returned home from an appointment at King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Ilford where she had routine treatment for inflamed tendons in her shoulder.

But her speech became slurred while trying to make a cup of tea.

“By the time the ambulance came I could hardly speak and upon checking they found my blood pressure was extremely high,” she said.

“As I reached Queen’s Hospital in Romford, I began losing the strength in my right arm, I was rushed through for a CT scan because it was thought I was having a stroke.

“I then began to lose strength in my right leg and was taken through to resus (resuscitation area),” she said.

What started as a normal November day for Tanya turned out to be one of the scariest in her life as she was rushed to the hospital’s specialist stroke unit.

“I was absolutely terrified. I was scared that if I fell asleep I wouldn’t wake up,” she added.

Tanya’s MRI scans came back clear of a stroke and she was instead diagnosed with a “hemiplegic migraine” – a very rare form of the debilitating headache.

She now has to use a wheelchair to go outside and relies upon family members to help around the house.

Despite the length of time it has taken Tanya to recover, she said she was determined to make a full recovery.

Professor Paul Booton, specialist doctor at the National Migraine Centre in Charterhouse Square, London describes the condition as a “migraine with an aura – light sensitivity, blind spots, co-ordination problems, weakness or paralysis on one side of the body – that mimics stroke symptoms.

Adding that hemiplegic migraines are extremely rare, he said: “In the four years I have worked at the national centre, only two or three people have actually had the condition, as opposed to the many misdiagnosed.”

Although the migraines can last several days and occasionally longer, Professor Booton said he “would expect a person to get completely better”.

For more information on migraines visit nationalmigrainecentre.org.uk


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