Karl, 35, was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation Type 1 – a surprisingly common condition where the bottom of the brain extends and puts pressure on the spinal cord, in 2016.
While the condition is most commonly diagnosed in adults, it is thought to often be present from birth and Karl had symptoms from when he was a teenager and spent eight years trying to get a diagnosis.
Blossom, aged 10, was struggling to keep up in school – often feeling as if she was falling behind the rest of the class. When friends would ask her to come out and play with them, she found it difficult to explain why she was too fatigued and too overwhelmed to join in.
Trina had a very demanding job working for an IT company in Liverpool’s historic Albert Docks when she was suddenly struck down by a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage (SAH) – a life-threatening stroke caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain – in November 2011.
With no warning symptoms whatsoever, her life was turned upside down overnight.
Self-employed Phillip found himself living on less than £5 a day after the lockdown closed his business overnight and he faced long delays before receiving Universal Credit.
As his living costs piled up, he became very concerned his precarious financial situation would worsen his psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES), a neurological condition he has had since childhood.
Sarah had a mechanical stroke following a head-on road traffic accident in 2016 and was left with life-altering injuries that affect her mobility, vision, speech and memory. Sarah can no longer drive and requires full time care which is provided by her long-term partner and two paid carers who work on rotation.