Woman suffers TWO strokes by the age of 30 (defying odds of a billion to one) – but says ordeal helped her finally find love
Colette Boyd, from Glasgow, suffered her first stroke aged just 28
Against odds of a billion to one, suffered another stroke a year later
Missing the buzz of working in an office, she visited an internet chatroom There met now-husband Pete, 46, who has shared love of music and football
11:41 GMT, 20 February 2013
11:59 GMT, 20 February 2013
True love: Collette Boyd suffered TWO strokes by the age of 30, but says her ordeal helped her meet her husband Pete
A woman who suffered two strokes before the age of 30 – defying odds of a billion to one – has finally found love thanks to her illness.
Colette Boyd had suffered the first at 28 and doctors had said the chances of her suffering a repeat stroke were about a billion to one – but she was hit again.
Being unable to work because of the effects of the strokes, Colette's confidence was at rock bottom.
She was a sociable 28-year-old working for a travel firm in Glasgow and travelling all over the world when her own world was turned upside down.
Missing the buzz of the office, she logged on to an internet chatroom and began a conversation with a man over their shared love of football and rock music.
They arranged to meet for a cinema date and just 10 months later Colette and Pete got engaged and the pair are now husband and wife.
Colette, now 37, says she is finally returning to her old self, thanks to Pete, 46.
She said: 'He is all my good luck rolled into one.'
'I was having breakfast with my friends and my arm felt a bit strange, but I thought I had just slept on it in a funny way.
'I remember I couldn't open the butter sachet, but I didn't think much of it.
'But when I went to work, a couple of people asked if I had done something to my arm.
'After lunch I had dribbled down the side of my mouth. So I did what every sensible girl does – I called my mum. She told me to go straight to the doctor.
Colette was immediately sent to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow and only discovered what had happened when she looked up and saw a sign for 'stroke' on the hospital unit.
The then 28-year-old had suffered a haemorrhagic stroke, which results from a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain. It accounts for about 13 per cent of stroke cases.
She said: 'When you are 28 you don't think it is going to happen. They said the chances of it happening again were a billion to one.'
However, almost exactly a year later,
she suffered a second stroke. It was caused by scar tissue coming off
the original tear that cause the first stroke.
Almost exactly a year after her first stroke, Colette suffered a second attack
She said: 'The second stroke affected my voice, although only people who knew me before would notice. I believe it is the tone that has changed.
'I no longer sing in the church group I was once part of and sometimes when I say something meant as a joke the tone doesn't change and what I said can be taken the wrong way.
'I have a general weakness down my left side and walk with a slight limp. I also can't really use my left arm at all now.'
It was after suffering the second stroke, Colette turned to an internet chatroom for company and struck up her friendship with Pete, which eventually blossomed into love.
The couple are now happily married, living in Rutherglen, near Glasgow, and hoping for a family.
Colette said: 'Pete wasn't fazed by my condition. He does so much for me, helping me cook and dress.
'When we got engaged I wanted to share my exciting news and show off my ring but I had to use my right hand to lift up my left hand to show the ring, which kind of spoiled the moment.
'Before I had the strokes I was a completely different person. Thanks to Pete I'm now finally getting back to that.'
Colette's new-found confidence will be tested next month when she takes part in a terrifying charity challenge.
She has bravely agreed to take part in the Stroke Association's Big Swing event on March 23, which will see participants 'swing' off the 150ft Titan Crane, Clydebank, and out over the River Clyde.
Colette aims to raise hundreds of pounds for the charity.
For more information: www.stroke.org.uk