A BRAVE and determined stroke survivor has given a message of hope to others: “You are not alone”.

Exactly a year ago today Faye Mitchell thought she had heat stroke when she became ill on what was the hottest day of the year.

As temperatures topped 30C, Faye remembers feeling sick, with a terrible migraine and she could not cool down.

She called her mum Jacquie Mansfield for help.

Gazette: Before - Faye as a bridesmaid for her brother's wedding, 11 days before the strokeBefore - Faye as a bridesmaid for her brother's wedding, 11 days before the stroke

Faye said: “Last thing I remember was walking to a chair and falling onto it.

“My husband just came home from work, hugged me and I don’t remember anything else.”

It was the beginning an unimaginable journey for Faye, 28.

She said: “No-one knew what was wrong with me as the first scan didn’t show any signs of stroke.

“It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I had an MRI scan, which showed the clots on my brain stem, but they still didn’t know the reason.

“Doctors think it was a virus which attacked my heart and when my heart started to fail, it sent clots to my brain.”

The young stroke survivor marked her 28th birthday and her first wedding anniversary in intensive care and she was hospitalised for four and a half months in total.

Gazette: Hospital - Faye and her mum Jacquie in intensive careHospital - Faye and her mum Jacquie in intensive care

She said she was in intensive care for almost six weeks before being transferred to the stroke unit at Colchester Hospital for three weeks and she spent two and a half months at the Northwick Park Regional Hyperacute Rehabilitation Unit in London.

Gazette: Journey - Faye On her way to Northwick Park rehab centreJourney - Faye On her way to Northwick Park rehab centre

Faye, a former shop assistant from Dovercourt, added she was well looked after and described the care she received as perfect.

“I had the best care and I couldn’t ask for more,” Faye added.

“I was so young and because I was a rare case, I got the best care I could.

“They had a lot of promise and hope that I could get better, so they put lot into me.

“When I came out of hospital, I had a good support system.”

Gazette: Happy - Faye on her wedding dayHappy - Faye on her wedding day

Faye said her husband, 29, was an amazing support and she added her mum gave up her job when she became ill to offer help and support.

Faye had to learn everything again, including how to eat, walk, talk, write and perform simple tasks, such as making a cup of tea.

However, despite the great family support Faye said the first thing she struggled with when she came out of hospital was feeling alone.

She said because she could not find many young people online who had had a stroke, she started an Instagram page where she talks about her struggles and daily life to help other young people.

She added: “Before my stroke, I didn’t know anyone can have a stroke, I thought it was just older people, but through my journey I met a lot of people who are my age and younger.

“It can happen to anyone and it’s not always the typical symptoms - a severe headache can also be a sign.

“But I’ve been quite positive all the way through, that’s how I am as a person.

“It is bad, but I can see positive in it and I know I can get better.

“Even if I have bad days, I know it’s only me who can change it so I put all my energy into it.

“My message to others is to never give up if you want something. You can do it as long as you put hard work into it, but you have to be determined.

“If you’re not determined, you don’t get anywhere.”

The inspirational young woman has also raised more than £1,000 for the three wards she stayed in as part of her ambition to take part in the Harwich Half Marathon.

And even though it was postponed this year due to the pandemic, Faye said she is determined to complete it next year.

Gazette: Determined - Faye is aiming to run a half marathonDetermined - Faye is aiming to run a half marathon

Now Faye’s day is filled with yoga, physio, speech language therapy and household jobs which for her count as physiotherapy.

“The more I do the better I am, and I’m proud I’m managing my fatigue quite well as it can be really bad,” she added.

“My plan for the future is to get as close to how I was as possible and start a family.”