Leah Batchelor, a parishioner of St Michael’s Parish, Belfast, was just 21 when in 2011 she suffered a massive aneurysm that left her with a rare condition known as locked in syndrome. Doctors said she would never walk, talk or even breathe by herself again.
Leah spent weeks in intensive care, conscious of all that was going on around her, feeling pain and emotion, yet not able to move a single muscle apart from her eyes.
But with the prayers of her family, friends, her parish of St Michael’s and even strangers around the world, Leah fought back.
Her remarkable courage and determination was documented in Stephen Nolan’s ‘Story of a Lifetime’ series on BBC Northern Ireland in March 2013. She also allowed us to tell her story in Connor Connections in June that year.
Two years on, and Leah is continuing her remarkable journey to recovery. She is about to enter her final year as a graphic design student at the Ulster University, and after years of not being able to speak clearly, an operation on her palate has given Leah back the power of speech, the ability to communicate in person once again. “It has completely transformed my life,” Leah says.
You can read Leah’s story in Connor Connections, or visit the link to Story of a Lifetime. The video we bring you here has been produced by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, which describes Leah as ‘an inspiration to us all.’
And Leah’s story truly is.