Mark Ellis, a 24-year-old father from the U.K. with locked-in syndrome, has re-learned how to walk and talk, in part by copying his baby daughter. The disorder occurs when the body's muscles are paralyzed but the person is still conscious and able to think.
Ellis had a stroke at 22, which put him into a coma, The Telegraph reported. After he came out of the coma, he was only able to communicate by moving his eyes -- and doctors said a blood clot in his brainstem severely lowered his chances of being able to move his body again, according to The Telegraph.
"It was just so hard to take in -- we had been married two months and [their daughter] Lola-Rose was just two weeks old when the stroke happened," his wife, Amy, told the Daily Mail. "It was a dream turned into a nightmare."
But after undergoing speech therapy and physiotherapy -- and with encouragement from his therapist to try to copy his daughter, who was in a babbling stage -- Ellis was able to improve his speaking ability, the Daily Mail reported.
"He started to make the same sounds, and then the words came too," Amy told The Sun.
Ellis was also able to improve his speech by reading books with his daughter and using smartphone speech apps, The Sun reported, as well as develop coordination by playing with his daughter.
The Daily Mail also reported that he is able to walk with the aid of a walking frame now.
There are no cures, nor are there standardized treatments for locked-in syndrome, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Most people aren't able to regain full movement, with the exception of rare cases where some movement is recovered.
Locked-in syndrome can sometimes have the same symptoms as being in a vegetative state, but the two are not the same, according to the UK's NHS.
Symptoms or outcomes of a stroke may be dependent on what part of the brain was affected by the stroke, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Locked-in syndrome occurs when there is a blood clot in the basilar artery (which brings blood to the brain) which affects the pons area of the brain
Symptoms of stroke may include arm or leg weakness, slurring speech, problems with balance, numbness, loss of eyesight, dizziness and confusion.
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