A 70-mile-a-week runner and mother of three, Kate Allatt, nearly died after suffering a severe stroke caused by a blood clot in her brainstem in 2010 When Kate woke up from an induced coma three days later she was completely locked-in
Kate Allatt speaks on the following topics:
A 70-mile-a-week runner and mother of three, Kate Allatt, nearly died after suffering a severe stroke caused by a blood clot in her brainstem in 2010.
When Kate woke up from an induced coma three days later she was completely locked-in – her body was completely paralysed except for her eyes, however her brain was fully functioning and she could see, hear and understand everything going on around her. She felt helpless terror as she was trapped in her own body unable to move or speak. The nursing staff and my family assumed she was brain damaged and the doctors said she would never walk or talk again.
After three weeks Kate’s husband and best friend noticed that Kate was blinking in response to things going on around her, they realised that she could communicate via a system of two blinks for ‘yes’ and one blink for ‘no’.
Nine weeks after the stroke Kate was off the critical list and moved to the rehabilitation ward where the next stage was to learn to accept and live with her severe disabilities. However three months later Kate decided to prove everyone wrong, she spent days just looking at her limbs willing them to move. She gradually regained flickers of movement in her right hand, which she was able to work on with physiotherapy exercises to strengthen her grip. Soon she was able to use a computer and Facebook, providing a valuable communication tool and lifeline to her family and friends. Within months of physiotherapy, she managed to sit up.
Her family had been informed that Kate would never speak again, however she defied all odds and, five months after her stroke, spoke her first words, she later said to her speech therapist ‘I will walk out of here and I will run again.’
Finally seven months later Kate made the emotional walk out of the hospital ward to the car for her journey home. Exactly a year to the day after her stroke, she ran her first 20 metres.
One of Kate’s favourite quotes is by Winston Churchill ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it’s the courage to continue that counts.’ Kate keeps these words in mind and shares them with other stroke survivors.
Kate is now a sought after public speaker, internationally published author of ‘Gonna Fly Now! Locked in laughter unleashed’ and ‘Running Free’, she is the founder of ‘Fighting Strokes’ and was voted ‘Extraordinary Women of the year 2011’. Kate has the ability to make you laugh, to cry and then to laugh again, in what would seem a very desperately sad subject matter she educates her audience with speeches that are jaw dropping and interactive, her core competences are empathy and humour.
“Kate was remarkable and had over 1,000 GPs and students spellbound…” RCGP Annual Conference Harrogate 2016
“It was the best talk of the day for me. So inspiring and so honestly delivered. Such a powerful message for all rehab professionals to take home and remember regarding the importance of expectations and also communication. I am sure I will think of you often when working with my clients in the future. And a book order will be placed shortly too. Thanks for such an inspiring session!” Occupational Psychologist and Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, Bush & Company Rehabilitation
“Kate Allatt you were amazing. Funny, captivating, entertaining and inspirational all at the same time!” Practice Manager, Burcher Jennings
‘Kate Allatt is an outstanding speaker with an extraordinary story, delivered with passion, humour and great warmth. She gives very careful thought to her audience and their needs, tailoring what she says in a way that brings out the best in any audience. Every time I have met her I have been incredibly impressed.’ Writer & Broadcaster
“Working alongside Kate Allatt is an absolute privilege. Kate is a fantastic and generous story teller and she has one of the most inspiring personal stories I have ever heard! When Kate stands up and calmly shares her experience of recovery from locked in syndrome, you can hear a pin drop, everyone in the room is deeply touched by her courage and determination. What I really admire about Kate is that she is purposeful, aspirational and has a fantastic sense of humour all wrapped up in one incredible woman. She is on a mission to make a positive difference to people who are recovering from stroke and I am sure, as was the case with her recovery story, she will achieve more than anyone ever dared hope!” Managing Director, We Love Life and Recovery Enterprises
‘We worked with Kate to develop an event that was truly patient-led…it was important to us that our event included patients, carers and members of the public not just as attendees, but as participants, presenters, and organisers. Kate’s talk at our event gave us insights into her condition, and her motivations and attitude throughout the highs and lows of her re-ablement were truly moving and inspiring, but that wasn’t all that she helped us with. What really ensured that our event and the activities around it were a success was Kate’s understanding of what it’s like to be a patient, the support that people need, and what people during their recovery are interested in. Kate helped us reach the right people, and form the whole basis of our approach to planning our event and public engagement, and we’re very grateful.’ NIHR Devices for Dignity HT
“This has been Kate’s first voyage with Cunard and a lady who really is nothing but an inspiration. A lovely character, Kate’s talk was open, honest and truthful and although covering a sensitive subject, as this was from her own first-hand experience she covered this with true feeling and often lighter moments to more difficult times. Kate presents well, with good contact with the audience and without the use of notes etc. and embarks them on a full understanding of her stroke, recovery and the inspirational work she now does today.” Cunard
“Kate pulled in a great crowd and blew them away with her inspirational story. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the session and one lady at the end told me she wished they had given her a standing ovation.” i2i Events Group
“Kate Allatt is a huge inspiration” Lord Coe, Chairman London 2012 Olympic Committee
“Humour empathy admiration astonishment fear inspiration determination hope… 40 minutes listening to KateAllatt” Cork stroke support group
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