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Mum in coma 'screamed' at doctors not to switch off life support - then woke up

A mum made a miraculous recovery from a rare brain stem stroke after screaming at doctors not to turn off her life support.

Adele Rudd was just 25 years old when she was put in a coma with only a five per cent chance of survival.

She felt as though she was "screaming out" wanting to stay alive when in reality, she was paralysed from the neck down and only able to communicate with her eyes.

Adele's dad Anthony stayed by her side and asked her to "kick a ball" for her eight-month-old baby Milano when she moved her right foot.

To everybody's amazement, Adele then woke up and went on to make an incredible recovery relearning to walk and talk, reports Birmingham Live.

"Doctors told my family to say goodbye and to allow them to switch my life support machines off," she said.

Adele Rudd today (


Adele Rudd/BPM Media)
Adele relearning to walk (


Adele Rudd/BPM Media)

"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."

The first time Adele realised anything was wrong was when she was driving home from a friend's house and began to feel hot and tingly.

Her vision went blurry so she immediately pulled over.

"My whole body went numb. I reached for my phone but had no grip in my hand," Adele said.

Adele with physiotherapists at Moseley Hall Hospital (


Adele Rudd/BPM Media)
Adele with baby Milano (


Adele Rudd/BPM Media)

"I was dripping with sweat. A passer-by asked if I was okay but I couldn’t get my words out and she quickly called 999. All I was thinking about was my baby son next to me."

Adele recalled hearing an ambulance siren when "out of nowhere" her 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," she added.

Adele, a former learning disabilities support worker, was rushed to Heartlands Hospital and then to Good Hope.

An MRI revealed two blockages in the blood supply to her brain.

Doctors explained she had suffered a series of mini strokes knowns as TIAs.

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Then on her second day in hospital, she suffered a further much bigger stroke.

Adele said: "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'.

"It felt like I was in a nightmare. I felt like 'who was this person?'" Adele said.

The determined mum defied all odds to walk and talk again after four months of physio and speech therapy at Moseley Hall Hospital's INRU neurological rehabilitation unit.

Seven months after she was first rushed to hospital, Adele was excited and nervous to finally be able to come home in September 2016.

"Coming home felt like I was dreaming," she said the single mum.

"My dad had spent seven months adapting the house and building an amazing extension downstairs and bathroom for me. I didn’t recognise the house.

“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 has gained back her right side while her left side has limited movement.

She now has a speech impairment but is able to talk.

"I have balance problems, my swallow is still a problem often but I can manage," she 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.

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"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."

Adele's dad Anthony died in 2020 but his loss made her even more determined to carry on making him proud.

As a result, she took Milano on holiday to Portugal with her mum - something she never imagined she'd be able to do.

"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," she added.

"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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