New year joy as Mia is ready to return home

Reporter:

Helen Davies

THE family of a young woman left paralysed by a stroke is celebrating her long-awaited return from hospital.

Mia Austin, 22, collapsed at home in November 2009 and has only been able to move her eyes since.

Doctors did not expect Mia, who was completely healthy before the stroke, to survive.

She pulled through against the odds but was unable to speak or move her limbs, a condition known as locked-in syndrome.

Her parents Rick and Carol, originally from Holywell, and friends and family, made an appeal through the Leader for help to make essential alterations to her home.

Fashion shows, marathons, music concerts and sponsored walks were just some of the activities that took place to raise funds.

A three-peak challenge took place in June, organised by Mia’s boyfriend, Richard Williams.

Mia’s cousin Sharon, from Pen-y-Maes in Holywell, joined the group at Snowdon for the final climb.

The family home on the Wirral has now been renovated to provide specialist equipment Mia needed so she could move out of Clatterbridge Hospital.

At the start of December Mia spent her first night at home in over a year and a few weeks later she moved home more permanently. She now spends time at home when she is feeling up to it, returning to hospital in between.

She was welcomed home by a massive street party, organised by Sainsbury’s, after Mia’s street won their ‘perfect Christmas’ competition.

Carol and Rick Austin, said: “We have had a trying year as a family but the love and kindness we’ve received from our neighbours in Seabank Road and the wider community has been a great help. Words can’t express how grateful we are to all of them, so this Perfect Christmas is a wonderful way for us to say thank you to them – we hope they’ve enjoyed it as much as we have.”

Sophie Austin, their daughter, said after the party that she was sure the family would have a “wonderful Christmas” now that her sister was home.

She said: “My sister Mia has spent the last 13 months in hospital after suffering a stroke at the age of 21 that left her unable to speak or move.

“We desperately wanted to win so that she could come back to a wonderful surprise and help us in thanking all our friends and neighbours for their help and support. Our special thanks also go to the wonderful nurses at The Wirral Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, Clatterbridge, Mia’s old work colleagues and her boyfriend Rich.”

See www.mountainsformia.co.uk to support Mia or make a donation.

See full story in the Leader

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