A YOUNG dad who became trapped in his own body after a stroke has learnt to walk and talk again - by copying his baby daughter.
Mark Ellis was just 22 when he suffered a stroke and developed locked-in syndrome - a condition which leaves the sufferer’s brain alert but their body paralysed.
The sudden stroke in August 2010 left him completely helpless, only able to communicate by rolling his eyes.
Previously a fit and healthy young man, doctors induced him into a coma and told his family it was unlikely he would survive.
His devastated wife Amy had given birth to their daughter Lola-Rose just two weeks earlier.
But Mark amazed doctors when he left hospital and began learning to talk, move and walk again - by mimicking his daughter.
His physiotherapist Michael Lee, who runs sessions off Abbeydale Road in Sheffield, encouraged Mark, now 24, to copy the sounds and actions of Lola-Rose, who was just learning to walk and talk herself.
Amy, aged 32, said: “He has had to learn everything again from scratch. His brain was wiped clean.
“It is a miracle to us that he is walking and talking again.
“The therapists said they could try lots of different techniques but they might not work.
“So they suggested he copy what our daughter was doing.”
Mark and his daughter, now nearly two, use toys, books, games and the iPad together to learn how to do things and communicate.
Just days before his stroke, Mark, from Clay Cross, north Derbyshire, had been working at a mobile phone shop when he started complaining of a severe migraine.
After visiting Chesterfield Hospital, he was sent to the neurosciences unit at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, where doctors found he had suffered a blood clot in his brain stem.
Amy said: “It was just so hard to take in - we had been married two months and Lola-Rose was just two weeks old when the stroke happened.
“It was a dream turned into a nightmare.”
Now, though, things are looking up.
Amy said: “Mark has come on so far.
“He is driven by Lola-Rose and we have a lot of hope for the future.
“He has an adaptive car now and he can drive down to the shops. He can walk a few steps - to the toilet and back - but the physiotherapist is determined he will be up and walking further.”