Home   Maidstone   News   Article

West Malling woman Charlotte Naylor sets herself new challenge after having to learn to speak again after stroke

A woman who had to learn English again after suffering a life-altering stroke is embarking on her next challenge.

Charlotte Naylor was just 23 when she was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease which led her to contracting arthritis, blood clotting, and suffering an under-active thyroid.

In spite of this, at 27 she landed a dream job in Dubai. It was then that disaster struck.

Charlotte Naylor had to learn to read, speak, and write again after suffering a stroke at 27.
Charlotte Naylor had to learn to read, speak, and write again after suffering a stroke at 27.

She was hospitalised for a fortnight after contracting pneumonia. Just when she thought she was over the worst, she suffered a stroke, and had to be put into an induced coma.

When she woke up two weeks later, with her parents at her bedside, it quickly became clear her memory had been affected, and she could no longer read, speak, or write.

Charlotte, now 34, recalled: “I knew what I was trying to tell my parents, but it would often take a long time for them to work out what I was trying to say,” she explained.

“I’ve been told friends were texting me and all they were getting in return was a jumble of letters that meant nothing.”

When she was able to return home, she had to move back into the family home in Headcorn, and was unable to work.

“I was very anxious and didn’t like speaking to people I didn’t know. I wouldn’t go out by myself because I panicked that I couldn’t tell people what I needed,” she said.

Charlotte previously ran the Edinburgh Marathon in 2010.
Charlotte previously ran the Edinburgh Marathon in 2010.

Miss Naylor, now living in Sandown Road, West Malling, has managed to almost entirely relearn the language, thanks to extensive speech therapy and a little help from friends.

“A friend, Helen Jesshope, gave me my first job when I got back from Dubai, babysitting her kids. Evie and Harry were only little, and they used to read to me and I’d learn with them,” she explained.

“There are still some words I can’t read if I haven’t seen them in a while, and I’m still not the person in a group who does all the talking.”

As if her story wasn’t full of enough challenges, she’s set herself another – running the London Marathon for Arthritis Care. Fortunately she is still able to enjoy running and exercise.

She said: “At school I hated sport, but as I got older I started running and loved it. London is one of the best known marathons, where you have some of the most famous runners competing. It will be amazing.”

Click here to donate.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More