AN ALLOA mum has made a remarkable recovery after suffering a stroke during childbirth.

Nicola Kenny, now 34, was two weeks into caring for her third child when she knew something was seriously wrong.

She told the Advertiser: "I was taken to hospital and told I was just having a bad migraine.

"But on my fourth day in hospital it was discovered I had had a stroke.

"I was there for six weeks and for the first few weeks I couldn't hold my son, feed him or cuddle him – so that was hard."

The stroke had a devastating impact on Nicola's life, leaving her unable to complete basic everyday tasks.

She said: "I was in a wheelchair for a year, and had to go through speech therapy because I was mumbling when talking.

"I remember one day at hospital I tried to open a packet of crisps and I was crying because it was something so simple, but I couldn't do it."

Nicola was also forced to hand in her driver's licence and give up her job as a carer.

But, after being placed on a new trial programme from the Stroke Association in Stirling, called Moving Forward After Stroke, Nicola has been on the road to recovery.

The programme provides stroke specific exercises to help with rehabilitation.

Nicola said: "For me the exercise part of the course was really beneficial. I felt it focusing on muscles that were affected and I could feel my arm getting stronger.

"It was a fantastic course to be a part of.

"The recovery has been slow but I have to keep going."

For Nicola, keeping going and staying positive are helped by her three kids.

She said: "At one point I had a zimmer frame and needed help just to walk to the kitchen and I though: 'I'm too young for my kids to be helping me like this'.

"The kids have been a massive motivation."

Nicola's husband also encouraged her by bringing forward plans the pair had put on hold since her stroke.

She said: "Kenny and I had been together for 18 years and he said to me: 'If you get walking again then we're going to get married and we'll get a date arranged.'"

"That was amazing. We got married this year on February 24."

Now, two years on, Nicola is walking, talking, driving again and even looking to get back to her old job.

She said: "I'm still not back to where I was but there's definitely such an improvement.

"It feels good to be able to put my son in the buggy, take the dog around the back and to get out the house.

"I've just got to be positive and keep the right mindset. I've got to fight to keep getting better."