A California woman discussed her terrifying experience with locked-in syndrome, a condition which leaves coma patients mentally aware but unable to communicate with those around them. The 34-year-old woman, Brisa Alfaro, says that after suffering a stroke, she woke in a hospital room surrounded by family members and doctors. However, when she tried to give the people in the room a signal that she was awake, she was unable to move or speak. Therefore, no one knew she was awake, and the terrified woman would be forced to listen in horror as the doctors told her family that she might die.
After a week of locked-in syndrome, able to hear and see everything around her but unable to communicate that she was awake, Brisa Alfaro was finally able to make her finger twitch.
The Daily Mail reveals that Brisa Alfaro’s frightening ordeal began after experiencing an allergic reaction on an airplane. Alfaro says that she was on an airplane traveling from Los Angeles to New York when she began experiencing an allergic reaction to an unknown source. The woman says her face began to swell, but she was able to make it back home. After arriving at her house, Brisa took two allergy pills and went to sleep, hoping to feel better in the morning. However, upon waking, the woman says she still felt terrible and video called her mother.
After seeing Brisa’s swollen face, her mother told her to got to the hospital. The hospital would treat Brisa for an allergic reaction, but had no idea what was about to happen while the young woman sat in the hospital bed. Brisa Alfaro would have a stroke in the hospital and fall into a coma. Doctors claim it was just a coincidence that Alfaro experienced the stroke while under hospital care and say she is very lucky she was already in the hospital when the stroke occurred.
“Bizarrely, the doctors do not think the allergic reaction I suffered was linked to the stroke. They think it was just a coincidence and they don’t actually know the cause of the stroke. If I hadn’t been in hospital, I would not have been treated so quickly and might not have survived.”
The woman says she doesn’t remember being transferred to a different hospital or anything about her stroke. Brisa says the next thing she remembers is waking up a week after the stroke to a room full of family members having a bedside vigil in the hospital. She says that upon waking she could hear everything that people in the room were saying and desperately tried to communicate with doctors that she was awake. However, unable to move or speak, Brisa would lie helplessly and listen to doctors discuss the fact that she may not survive the stroke.
Brisa would remain mute and immobile, yet awake, for a week before finally giving her mother a sign that she was coherent. After suffering through a week of locked-in syndrome, Brisa was finally able to twitch her finger, a sign to doctors that she may be recovering. The young woman would go on to defy odds by not only overcoming her paralysis but thrive. Brisa began walking and even returned to the gym.
Brisa Alfaro is now starting a social media movement she calls #nomorebaddays. Brisa hopes to encourage others to live each day to the fullest and not to allow any “bad days” into life.
“Now I never have bad days, because every day that I’m alive and well is a gift. What happened to me has made me appreciate life so much more.”
[Image via Facebook/Brisa Alfaro]