Paralysed Stroke Survivor Writes Book Using Her Eyes

Mia Austin

Mia Austin, 29, was just 21 years old when a stroke left her trapped in her own body, incapable of speech. The stroke left her paralyzed from neck down. Despite suffering the severe stroke, Mia has written a book using only her eyes. Mia’s book is named, ‘In the Blink of Eye’, and that is how she actually writes it. The book was launched on Friday, April 27. In the book, Mia from Wirral, England, shares her experiences of life after the stroke.

The young woman was diagnosed with ‘locked in syndrome’. Doctors define the condition as “the closest thing to being buried alive”. While she can see, hear, and think in a normal manner, Mia cannot move from the neck down. She has to be fed through a tube. In spite of the restricted movement, she has written a book

She can only communicate through eye movement and the spelling card. Mia used the same method to write her book.

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Describing herself in the book’s introduction, she says, “I must have woken on the morning of November 16, 2009, totally oblivious as to what was going to happen because I’d been to work, as usual, nothing different, followed by the gym where I did my normal workout.”

She writes, “I went straight in to tell my mum how badly I’d done (at the gym) and her mother replied ‘There’s always tomorrow….”

This is how Mia welcomes you into the world inside a stroke victim’s head.

Austin’s father, Rick is extremely proud of his daughter. He considers Mia writing the book as one big achievement.

“Personally, I feel incredibly proud of Mia. To write a book in quite literally a blink of an eye is outstanding,” – Rick Austin

Miracles do happen

She suffered the stroke at her home in Wirral. The doctors told her family to leave hopes and expect the worst. Austin’s family was preparing to withdraw life support and that is when she opened her eyes. She was then diagnosed with ‘locked in syndrome’.

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Mia’s mother Carole told The Independent, “She was in the hospital for around 14 months and writing poems and stories kept her alert and occupied. I think the idea [for the book] stemmed from there really.”

She says it was a difficult task for her and it took around one year to complete her book. She says, “it was a very laborious task, using her eyes to choose each letter”.

Her family, including brother Sam, and sister Sophie helped her write poems and short stories in the hospital using spelling chart.

Through this book, she writes about her personal experiences and addresses questions that everyone want to ask her

The book is a reflection of Mia’s incredible achievement of determination.

Her Achievements

Definitely, she has done something incredible by writing a book. Not just book, she has a long list of achievements. Before signing up for a forensics course with the Open University, England, she completed a criminology course at Wirral Metropolitan College in 2017. This year, Mia will start another course in the field of criminal justice.

Before the stroke, she worked as a travel agent. She devotes a lot of her time to charity work. Recently, she has launched a campaign for disabled travellers.

In an interview with The Mirror, she says that she loves taking challenges. Hats off to you, Mia Austin!

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Picture Credit: Mirror.co.uk

Deepali Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV