A WOMAN 'lucky to be alive' after suffering a rare stroke is hoping to break the stigma surrounding them.

Lynsey Ashford, from Northwich, had a stroke in June and was later diagnosed with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, a rare condition which causes blood clots all over the brain and accounts for less than one per cent of all strokes.

Mum-of-three Lynsey, 42, has been left with right-sided weakness, extreme fatigue and sight problems, and wants to raise awareness.

She said: “I had a headache and sickness that just seemed to get worse. My husband and I just thought it was a bad bug, so I took painkillers and went to bed.

"When I woke up in the middle of the night, I just collapsed and my husband did the FAST test to check for the signs of a stroke, but I could do everything he asked me, so we ruled it out.

“The next day, my husband and three children couldn’t wake me up and I was rushed to hospital. One of the consultants said it was very rare and one of the biggest strokes he’d ever seen.”

Northwich Guardian:

Doctors eventually discovered that Lynsey had CVST, and the clot which led to her stroke may have been building for months or even years.

Lynsey said: “When I was examined at hospital, the consultants showed me scans and my brain was covered in clots. There were only tiny spots where the blood was flowing freely, it was terrifying.”

“While I managed to avoid having surgery on my brain, the stroke has left me with horrible fatigue and weakness all over one side. Despite the fatigue, I have so much trouble sleeping, due to anxiety and racing thoughts, so my brain isn’t given the best chance to rest and recover.”

Tuesday, October 29 is World Stroke Day and Lynsey, a Crewe Stroke Association support group member, wants to break the stigma that strokes only happen to older people.

Lynsey said: “These days I walk like I’m drunk because of my right-sided weakness, and my vision is still not great. Fatigue is such a problem too and I have no answers which causes so much anxiety.”

“It’s such a rare type of clot that caused the stroke, so my main fear is that other people and even doctors will miss it. There is still so much stigma around stroke. When I’ve been for check-ups, I’ve had people saying to me, ‘you’re not sick enough to be here’ just because I’m in my early 40s.”

“Stroke can happen to anyone and there are so many different types. If my experiences can help anyone get the treatment they need earlier, then I’m happy”