Clodagh is recovering from a stroke which initially caused her to be ‘locked-in’ – this means that a person is conscious and able to hear and think normally, but their body is completely paralysed so they are unable to talk or move. People who are ‘locked-in’ may use an augmented or alternative way to communicate such as using their eye gaze to ‘point’ to pictures, words or symbols or blinking to spell out words. As Clodagh has recovered she has been learning to speak again.
“Having a communication disability makes people treat me like a child. Because I don’t talk like they think is “normal” they think I have no intelligence. I find when I am out people choose to talk to my family or my partner and that frustrates me because I can talk even though I sound different.
Even though my voice is not regarded as the “norm” I love it!! It was the most horrendous thing in my whole entire life not being able to communicate. I talk to everyone with my new voice. I absolutely love talking!!”