Published: 06:00, 08 August 2019
| Updated: 11:21, 08 August 2019
A 19-year-old Olympian was in a life-threatening condition after a rare blood clot was found on her brain.
Freestyle skier Madi Rowlands, who won gold at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics, spent 12 hours in agony in A&E not knowing what was wrong.
What Madi, who lives in Walderslade, at first thought was a migraine turned out to be a deadly blood clot.
She said: "I usually get migraines so I thought nothing of it but it got progressively worse very quickly.
"I wasn't able to eat or drink, I couldn't even move."
Madi went to the doctors, who said it was a migraine but when it got too painful to bear, her mum Karen rushed her to Medway Maritime Hospital.
She laid in A&E for 12 hours before being sent home, told again she had a migraine.
But Madi knew this was something worse so returned the next day.
She waited 10 hours before finally having a CT scan which revealed a blood clot.
Madi was diagnosed with a cerebral venous thrombosis.
She went home but started experiencing symptoms again so was re-admitted to an acute stroke ward.
The first ever GB athlete to win an Olympic gold medal on snow said: "A blood clot for someone at my age is extremely rare. The doctors said they haven't seen one like it for five years."
Madi's dad Daran told Planet Ski: "It has been a very stressful couple of weeks.
"She was just starting to lose feeling in her arm and lips but the doctors gave her blood thinners just in time."
The sports star was forced to cancel two training camps in Germany and New Zealand after deciding her health has to come first.
Madi added: "I was thankful they found the clot but also wondered - why is this happening to me?
"I had a few friends who became almost inpatients with me which helped a lot."
This is not the only serious injury Madi has experienced since she won her first Olympic medal at the 2016 Youth games, aged just 15.
"I wasn't able to eat or drink, I couldn't even move" - Madi Rowlands
She injured her knee before the final selection for both the halfpipe and slopestyle events at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last year.
It ruled her out of what would have been her first senior Olympics.
Madi is taking a break from training while she recovers and is unsure when she'll be back on the slopes. It could be a number of months.
She added: "It's not really a good idea to ski while I'm on blood thinners because if I hit my head I'll probably die.
"It kind of sucks but on the bright side, I'm never really home for long so it's been quite nice."
More by this authorRebecca Tuffin
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