Last Christmas, 23-year-old Vicky Croft’s life changed forever.
The bubbly Liversedge girl, who described herself as ‘the life and soul of the party’, had a minor stroke, leaving her barely able to use her arms or legs.
It was caused by rare genetic blood vessel disorder Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT). She has daily nosebleeds, her lips and face bleed and Vicky has even suffered heart failure, though she doesn’t let it get her down.
But while her limbs recovered, she was left with a stammer that seriously affected her confidence.
That was until she signed up for an intensive course called The McGuire Programme, a process that was filmed for moving Channel 4 documentary Stammer School.
“At first I found it hard to communicate the simplest of tasks,” said Vicky. “Then as my speech came back a little I found I stopped going out in public as much unless my friends were with me and even then I’d speak as little as I could.”
Vicky said she turned back twice on her way down to London for fear she would fail on national television.
“It kind of felt like this was my chance to get my speech back or I’d always have a stammer,” she added.
“My speech since the course has gone from strength to strength. It hasn’t been plain sailing and I’ve had a few turbulent patches but overall I am more confident and testing my speech daily by putting myself out there.”
Vicky is now raising money to find a cure for HHT. Visit Vicky’s twitter page @vickystammersch to find out more.