LAYING in a coma as doctors wanted to turn her life support off a woman felt helpless – until her dad asked a life-saving question.
Adele Rudd, 32, said hospital staff had told her family she was brain dead and to start preparing their goodbyes.
But, the mum-of-one says she could hear everything going on around her hospital bed, she just couldn't move or talk.
That was until one day when her dad Anthony asked her a question – and it involved her baby boy.
He asked Adele to "kick a ball for baby Milano" and she miraculously moved her right foot.
Then, to everyone's amazement, the then-25-year-old woke up.
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The Birmingham mum had suffered a rare brain stem stroke and was given just a five per cent chance of survival.
Adele recalled how one day she was driving home when she started feeling hot and tingly, then her vision started blurring, so she pulled over.
She said: "My whole body went numb, I reached for my phone but had no grip in my hand.
"I was dripping with sweat. A passer-by asked if I was OK, but I couldn’t get my words out and she quickly called 999.
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"All I was thinking about was my baby son next to me.
"I could hear an ambulance siren and, next, out of nowhere, my dad pulled up in his van.
"By total coincidence, he was on his way home from work early, noticed my car and thought I’d maybe been involved in a minor bump – someone was watching over me that day."
The mum was rushed to hospital, where an MRI showed two blockages in the blood supply going to her brain.
She then had a series of mini-strokes, before having a much bigger stroke the next day.
Adele said: "Doctors told my family to say ‘goodbye’ and to allow them to switch my life support machines off as they said there was no brain activity and I was clinically brain dead.
"But this wasn’t true. I was aware of most things being said, I could hear but couldn’t wake.
"It was like a deep sleep. It's like being trapped inside your body, screaming out, but there was absolutely nothing you could do about it.
"I couldn’t speak or move, I could only communicate with my eyes."
'KICK THE BALL'
She now credits her dad for saving her life, adding: “My dad spent every second of every day with me, proving the doctors wrong.
"I knew he was there and that he wouldn't have ever left me. I remember him telling me, if I was there, to kick the ball to my son – and I moved my right foot.
"It was a miracle – there was brain activity, and my little son was my reason to fight.
"There was never any doubt in my mind I was ever going to leave him."
After two weeks in a coma, Adele woke up but she had locked-in syndrome and could only blink once for 'yes' and twice for 'no'.
She added: "It felt like I was in a nightmare, I felt like 'who was this person?'"
However, Adele was determined for her son – and the rest of her family.
After countless appointments, bouts of therapy and the help of Moseley Hall Hospital staff, she was able to start walking and talking again.
'LEARNT TO ADAPT'
Speaking of the terrifying time in 2016, the mum said: “To this day, no one knows the cause.
"It was put down to trauma to my neck – a few weeks earlier I had had a bump in my car which made my neck jolt forward suddenly.
"I had a month or so of continuous headaches and stiffness in my neck but it was put down to sleeping funny and getting a crick neck."
Adele is still affected by the aftermath of the stroke today, but said: "I’ve learnt to adapt to things.
"I can walk but I’m not very confident walking and I'm still quite reliant on my wheelchair.
"Milano is now seven years old. He hasn’t known any difference from me as he was eight months when this happened so he’s grown up around it.
"I lead a very normal life, facing daily challenges doesn’t stop me or Milano."
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Sadly, Adele's dad died in 2020, but she says: "I know my dad would be proud of me. I would say to anyone going through a hard time that no matter how hard things get, never ever give up.
"Having a disability or illness doesn’t define you, it will beat you if you let it. There’s light at the end of the tunnel."
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