Teenage stroke survivor heads new campaign

Stroke survivors Bethany Sinfield (left) and Kate Allatt
Stroke survivors Bethany Sinfield (left) and Kate Allatt

Courageous stroke survivor Bethany Sinfield is on the campaign trail.

The inspirational Linslade teenager has joined forces with fellow survivor Kate Allatt to petition for the ROSIER assessment – Recognition of Stroke in the Emergency Room – to be used routinely on young patients at A&E with symptoms like slurring, vomiting and headache.

The former Cedar Upper School pupil said: “I got involved for two reasons – my own A&E misdiagnosis and to stop this happening to other young victims.”

Beth can recall every agonising second of her terrifying experience in September 2012.

She said: “I was in a critical condition when I went to A&E but because I was vomiting and a teenager, they thought I’d taken drugs.

“I wasn’t checked for stroke, even though my face was drooping and I couldn’t move my body. They thought I was too young – and the ROSIER test can only be used on patients aged 60 and over.”

By the time the correct diagnosis was made, Beth’s condition had deteriorated to such an extent her parents were told she would never walk or talk again and that she would have to be fed through a tube.

But she fought to survive with every fibre of her being and, three years on, her achievements are remarkable.

Now a youth ambassador for the charity ARNI (Action for Rehabilitation from Neurological Injury). she still struggles with speech but is learning to drive, is half way through writing her autobiography and is determined no other youngster should have to face what she did, simply because they aren’t diagnosed swiftly and correctly.

She and Kate Allat – founder of the charity Fighting Strokes and author of three books – are petitioning policy makers and front line emergency staff to change the wording on the ROSIER document to eliminate the age barrier. This will ensure that all young people presenting with stroke symtoms will be tested and treated immediately.

> Now sign the petition - go to www.change.org/p/a-e-health-professionals-and-gps-to-routinely-use-the-rosier-stroke-assessment-tool-f