Teenager suffering from locked-in syndrome for 18 months 'wakes up' after mom plays piano at bedside
Miranda Meldrum, 14, underwent surgery to save her from a life-threatening brain hemorrhage 18 months ago but the procedure left her in a vegetative state
A 14-year-old girl who was suffering from locked-in syndrome, a condition where the patient is aware of his/her surroundings and is awake but can't communicate, miraculously "woke up" on hearing her mother play the piano. Miranda Meldrum had been suffering from the condition for 18 months before the twist of fate saw her recover.
According to the Daily Mail, the teenager had suffered a life-threatening, rare form of brain hemorrhage in the early hours of April 25 last year and experienced symptoms such as severe headaches, sudden hearing loss, and paralysis of her arms. She was rushed to the Bristol Children's Hospital for treatment where she would undergo a surgery that would ultimately save her life.
However, the operation also unfortunately resulted in her being left with locked-in syndrome. Her GoFundMe page states that she used only her eyes to communicate for the first four months and that she was kept on a ventilator. She had to recover all her major body functions — blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, regulation of breathing, coughing, swallowing, etc — and had spent 14 months in a neurorehabilitation ward for the same.
Doctors gave her a meager five percent chance of recovering but, to the surprise of everyone, when her mother, 52-year-old Stella, played the keyboard at her hospital bed, she began singing along. Miranda is now relearning to walk and talk and can move every part of her body and will go back to school after a long 18-month hiatus.
She said she has music to thank for her recovery. "Music has been as if someone was holding my hand the whole way through this. It's been my sanity," she revealed. "I could see a light at the end, I knew it was temporary. I was channeling positive thoughts, my brain wouldn't let me think negatively. I was thinking most of the time "move" and then nothing happened, then "move" and still nothing and then "move" and there was a little flicker."
The Mail reported that while Miranda was in the hospital, loved ones would play her tunes like Evanescence's 'Wake Me Up Inside' while her father, John, played the guitar. The first signs of recovery came when her mother started reading letters from loved ones, with the 14-year-old's eyes starting to flicker and her hands making small movements.
Her mom, a doctor of 25 years, also admitted that chances of Miranda recovering were slim. "Some people can be locked in for years on end, some people are fine with that and some get very upset and wish they hadn't been saved," she said. "Miranda had a 95 percent chance of remaining like that indefinitely."
But after she began moving her eyes and blinking, Stella says her daughter recuperated at a rapid pace. "Miranda moved onto being able to touch fingers on a keyboard and now she's learned sign language," she said. "She learned sign language so quickly — I couldn't keep up."
Miranda, a talented singer who previously excelled in subjects such as art, English, drama, psychology, and biology, explained how she couldn't wait to go back to school. "The three most important things to my recovery are music, my cats and my friends," she said. "I listened to music throughout and the photos on the hospital wall of my cats helped so much. I message my friends, which has helped when I'm bored."
"The thing I miss most about my friends is the fact they get everything, they understand me telepathically and we have our own lingo," she continued. "I'm very excited to be going back to school."