Ellie Calder

Ellie Calder

British student, victim of a rare brain disease.
Country: Great Britain

Content:
  1. Ellie Calder: A Young Woman Defying Death
  2. A Life Threatened by Arteriovenous Malformation
  3. Optimism in the Face of Uncertainty

Ellie Calder: A Young Woman Defying Death

British student Ellie Calder is a victim of a rare brain disease. In her 20 years of life, she has already experienced three strokes and learned that death can strike her at any moment. Calder is determined to live a normal life, but will her determination be enough to overcome death? At the age of 20, Ellie Calder is much closer to death than many 50-year-olds. She has already survived three hemorrhagic strokes and could potentially die from a fourth at any given moment. For now, Calder manages to defy death in some mysterious way, but it remains uncertain how long her luck will last.

Ellie Calder

A Life Threatened by Arteriovenous Malformation

Calder's condition is officially known as arteriovenous malformation (AVM). This disease manifests itself through an abundance of abnormally sized blood vessels in her brain, which can cause a sudden hemorrhage at any moment. The first episode of hemorrhage occurred when Ellie was only 7 years old. She had unexpectedly lost control of her body on Boxing Day, a traditional British holiday celebrated on the day after Christmas. Frightened by the loss of control, Ellie and her parents rushed her to the hospital where doctors conducted several tests but found no concrete answers.

Ellie Calder

The second stroke struck Calder at the age of 11. After regaining consciousness from a fainting episode, she realized her legs were no longer responsive. Following this incident, Ellie spent two weeks in the Walton Centre. Initially, doctors suspected meningitis, but a computer tomography scan revealed a 5x5 centimeter abnormal formation in her brain, just millimeters away from the brainstem. While this discovery explained Ellie's symptoms, it did not alleviate the situation.

Calder was scheduled for biannual check-ups and was also expected to undergo gamma knife radiosurgery in the future to reduce the size of the anomaly. The third stroke occurred just one day before her prom. Ellie was getting ready, doing her nails and getting a tan when a sudden excruciating pain, as if being hit on the head with a shovel, overwhelmed her. When she regained consciousness, she discovered that her carefully manicured nails had grown back, and her tan had faded in places, making her realize that she had missed her prom. She underwent another surgery, endovascular surgery, which eventually restored her normal vision and ability to walk, although it took some time.

Optimism in the Face of Uncertainty

Calder's journey has taught her not only to accept death but also to look to the future with optimism. Despite the uncertainty of her condition, Ellie remains hopeful. Surviving three strokes without long-term consequences is a rare occurrence, as the first stroke often severely affects a person's mobility or permanently disables them. Currently, Ellie is undergoing specialized treatment at the Walton Centre in Liverpool. If all goes according to plan, the abnormal mass of blood vessels in her brain will first decrease and then disappear entirely. It is possible that Calder will eventually be able to completely forget about her malignant disease.

In the meantime, Ellie continues to lead a relatively normal life. She attends university, spends time with friends, and enjoys activities with her loved ones. The threat of another stroke still looms, but Calder refuses to let the possibility of a fatal outcome ruin her life.

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