Tag Archives: stroke

McCrum, R. My Year Off: Rediscovering life after a stroke

‘When I was just forty-two I suffered a severe stroke. Paralysed on my left side and unable to walk, I was confined to hospital for three months, then spent about a year recovering, slowly getting myself back into the world. When I was seriously ill in hospital, I longed to read a book that would tell me that I might expect in convalescence and also give me something to think about. . .’

Publisher: Picador
Year: 2008
ISBN: 033045711X

Bauby, J. The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly

On December 8, 1995, Bauby, the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, suffered a stroke and lapsed into a coma. He awoke 20 days later, mentally aware of his surroundings but physically paralyzed with the exception of some movement in his head and eyes (one of which had to be sewn up due to an irrigation problem). The entire book was written by Bauby blinking his left eyelid, which took ten months (four hours a day). Using partner assisted scanning, a transcriber repeatedly recited a French language frequency-ordered alphabet (E, S, A, R, I, N, T, U, L, etc.), until Bauby blinked to choose the next letter. The book took about 200,000 blinks to write and an average word took approximately two minutes. The book also chronicles everyday events for a person with locked-in syndrome.

There’s also a page for the 2007 film version here

Publisher: London : Harper Perennial
Year: 2004
ISBN: 1857027949

 (spoiler alert)