Dentist, 33, falls into locked-in syndrome after suffering stroke while he's carrying out 'gruelling' tooth extraction
Doctors told Mr Davies' family he had no prospect of any independent lifeThey said they have been amazed at his recovery over the past six months
16:52 GMT, 12 June 2012
A dentist suffered a near fatal stroke after performing a particularly gruelling tooth extraction.
Sporty Andy Davies, 33, managed to admit himself to hospital in Birmingham after falling ill in November 2011.
His stroke was so severe he experienced 'locked-in' syndrome and was unable to lift a limb, speak or breathe without a ventilator. His only way of communicating was through his eyelids.
Hopeful: Today Andy's condition is stable and he is gradually and slowly regaining strength and movement
Mr Davies's mother Barbara, from Liverpool, said Andy believed the extraction was probably to blame.
He began to suffer from headaches and neck pain before eventually admitting himself to hospital where it was discovered he'd torn an artery in his neck causing a bleed on his brain stem
Doctors at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital fought to save Mr Davies's life after the stroke.
He was then put into an induced coma by medical staff to allow his body to cope with the massive trauma he suffered last November.
Doctors caring for him have been amazed at his recovery from a bleed that could have easily killed him.
Mr Davies – who qualified at Birmingham and has a practice in the city – was unable to move at all for around 10 weeks until life began to flicker back into his hands and legs.
Today Andy’s condition is stable and he
is gradually and slowly regaining strength and movement, learning to
sit, stand, walk and talk again. The family are also hopeful he will
soon have sufficient strength to feed himself again.
He is currently being cared for at rehabilitation centre called Moseley Hall, in Birmingham, although his funding is due to run out in the next few months.
Mrs Davies, 27, said: 'My husband is an extraordinary man. He has achieved so much in his career and helped so many people.
'He has offered support to ex-offenders, drug users and single mums through his involvement with our church.
'Despite the poor prognosis offered by doctors after the stroke, I am confident Andy will make a recovery. This is a story of hope.'
Mr Davies was a keen climber and skier before his stroke
Andy, who had been a keen climber and skier, has been able to return to his home in Bourneville a couple of times. Last weekend he stayed overnight at home and was able to attend a friend’s wedding.
His mother Barbara added: 'The stroke was horrific and this has been a terrible ordeal for all the family.
'I would like to thank all the hospital staff who have helped Andy.'
Andy qualified at Birmingham University in 2002, becoming the first dyslexic to qualify as a UK dentist. Since then he has worked for the NHS in general dental practice in Birmingham where he met Emma. And the pair were married in 2008.
Mr Davies was the first dyslexic to qualify as a UK dentist. He hopes one day to return to work
Emma, a teacher said: 'We were told that if Andy survived he would be left with ‘Locked in Syndrome’ which would leave him unable to communicate or move with no prospect of any independent life. We were told to prepare for the worst and that people didn’t recover form such situations.'
She added: 'No one is quite sure what caused the stroke although Andy thinks the trigger was the tooth extraction which may have damaged the artery and caused it to split later.'
The couple are both Christians and Emma believes the power of prayer and the help of doctors has aided Andy’s remarkable recovery.
Emma said: 'We believe God answered our prayers when Andy was initially given no hope.'
Andy's mother said: 'He is now able to sit on the edge of a bed for three and a half minutes; when he first came to Moseley he could only sit for 30 seconds.
'His standing has also improved. Just ten weeks ago he started out using a standing frame, which mechanically raised him into a standing position and held him there.
'Now Andy no longer needs a hoist and can push himself up and briefly hold it there with the assistance of therapists, who help with the process.'
Emma said: 'Thousands of people round the world have been following Andy’s blog and have been praying for him. He’s come a long way since those dark days in November but there’s still a lot work to be done. We are hopeful that he will walk unaided again and we pray that he may one day go back to work.'
For Andy's blog visit http://andydaviesupdate.blogspot.co.uk/