The girl left locked inside her own body - and her miraculous journey to recovery

  • Watch Miranda Meldrum's remarkable story

A schoolgirl has made medical history by surviving locked-in syndrome - despite being diagnosed with brain cancer partway through her recovery.

Miranda Meldrum was left trapped in her own body after a catastrophic brain haemorrhage at her home in Bradford-on-Avon in 2017. She was just 13 years old.

Her mother, Stella, is a GP and rushed her to the nearest emergency department, at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. That speedy thinking saved Miranda's life.

But while Miranda's mind worked perfectly, the damage to her nerves was extensive and her body was totally paralysed.

Few people have ever recovered from the condition and so Miranda was given only a slight chance of survival. Stella was told her daughter would never be able to move or talk again.

But after a few months, to the amazement of doctors, she started waking up.

Miranda suffered a brain haemorrhage at home and was rushed to the RUH in Bath by her GP mother, Stella.

Miranda soon began communicating with a system of blinks before regaining some feeling in her feet and hands.

In the five years since, she has re-learned how to walk, how to talk and has even beaten cancer.

The 18-year-old now exercises regularly in her home studio and is studying for her A-levels, with plans to use her psychology course as part of her career.

"It’s been like walking through hell and back," she told ITV News.

Miranda typing her name for the first time in September 2017

"It's like climbing a mountain", she added. "You look back and you've done a lot, but then you look up and you still go away to go."

Her recovery suffered an appalling setback when she was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2020, which required the removal of a tumour. Miranda believes this has delayed her recovery by a further year.

"I tell people about the stroke," she said. "But I think 'that's probably enough to handle the moment', so I usually don't say anything about the cancer."

In the past five years, ITV News has followed Miranda as she took dance therapy in hospital, went to singing lessons and walked for miles on a treadmill.

She said: "Since the brain haemorrhage I’ve gone into a mindset where I think ‘get on with it’. I haven’t had any time for any emotions."

Miranda at a dance therapy session

But the fact there are only a handful of locked-in patients who have made recoveries in British history has made Miranda's experience even tougher.

She said: "It's difficult as hell, because nobody knows anything about it [recovering from locked-in syndrome] because they're not experienced enough."

"I haven’t accepted what the doctors say at all. They always say ‘this is going to happen. I look at them and think ‘no'," she addd.