Girl Dances Again After Paralysing Stroke

Nine-year-old Issy "surpassed expectations given how seriously unwell she was"

Issy Dolby at St George's Hospital

A nine-year-old girl who suffered a paralysing stroke can finally dance again after months of rehabilitation.

Issy Dolby was at her regular after-school dance lesson in June 2018 when she began to experience severe pain.

She was rushed to hospital and was put in an induced coma, before being transferred to St George’s for specialist care.

An MRI scan revealed Issy had suffered a stroke and she was kept in the paediatric intensive care unit for three days. She was taken out of the coma but was unable to talk, eat or drink and had to be fed through a tube.

Issy had no movement down her right side and doctors thought she would never regain total movement in her right arm.

Candice Dolby, Issy’s mum, said, “The call that afternoon from her school, changed our lives. As soon as I saw Issy, I knew she’d had a stroke as her face had dropped.

“She was only eight years old at the time... you don’t expect children to have strokes.”

Issy was moved to Nicholls Ward at St George’s for seven weeks – coincidentally the same ward where in 2010 she became the world’s youngest child to have keyhole surgery for acute appendicitis when she was just one day old.

Candice Dolby explained her daughter's determination to recover from the stroke: “A couple of weeks into being in hospital, we took Issy for a walk around the hospital in her wheelchair and she hated it.

“She didn’t want to be pushed around in a wheelchair and she hated the looks she got from passers by. From that moment, I saw a clear difference in her. She didn’t want to be stuck in a wheelchair so she put everything into her recovery to get back to where she was before.”

Issy was eventually able to talk in basic sentences again, as well as eat, drink and stand by herself.

Seven months on, she has started back at school, can run on a treadmill and can even dance again for short periods of time.

Dr Antonia Clarke, consultant paediatric neurologist, said, “Issy has surpassed our expectations given how seriously unwell she was.

“We didn’t expect her to regain total movement in her right arm but week by week, she’s slowly regaining more strength and it’s truly fantastic to see her doing so well now.”

Doctors still have no idea why Issy had the stroke.

Written with contributions from Calum Rutter, Local Democracy Reporter


April 10, 2019