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Teenager on the road to recovery from locked-in syndrome

Miranda Meldrum is having to learn to walk again after a catastrophic brain haemorrhage. Credit: ITV West Country

At 13, Miranda Meldrum was a talented singer and promising pupil when she had a rare and catastrophic brain haemorrhage that nearly killed her.

She was at home with her mother in Bradford-on-Avon in April 2017 when she suffered severe headaches and loss of hearing. Her mum took her straight to hospital. She also had a cardiac arrest.

The teenager had locked-in syndrome where her mind, as sharp as ever, was left imprisoned in a paralysed body. But she has been recovering slowly and steadily and amazing her doctors at Bristol Children's Hospital and her family as her brain relearned to do the actions she could once do easily.

We filmed Miranda learning how to communicate again in September 2017. Credit: ITV West Country

When ITV News visited her in September 2017 she was learning to communicate by sign language. While we were with her she managed to spell out her name on her keyboard device. Every advance a victory.

  • Watch Miranda's journey

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Nine months on and 14-year-old Miranda is still astounding her carers - her natural speech is improving and also her movement. She has been using dance as a means of physiotherapy.

Miranda is dancing her way to recovery. Credit: ITV West Country

Her mother says she is making improvements daily.

Every day since ITV visited there's been something new - head, shoulder, other arm, body and then within about six weeks she suddenly started to sit up in the bed and then she did her first stand. And then she's done some steps, which was on my birthday.

– Dr Stella Meldrum, Miranda's mother

Her consultant thinks Miranda's miraculous recovery may have something to do with her youth.

Locked-in syndrome is a very rare condition. Most of the literature suggests that patients do almost universally badly. Miranda's not falling into that category. There has been a paper published in 2009 that suggests that perhaps children have a rather better prognosis and maybe patients who have intensive early rehabilitation have a better prognosis.

– Peta Sharples, Consultant paediatric neurologist

Miranda still has a long way to go - she told ITV News there were two things that motivated her.

What are you really looking forward to going back to doing? "Well I'm missing my cats a lot so I am excited to see them again." What's the next step for getting better? "Going home for a few hours."

– Miranda Meldrum
Miranda is looking forward to seeing her cats again. Credit: Family

Miranda's home needs modifications if she is to make the move permanently. The family has set up a fundraising page to help pay for the alterations and equipment.