This father of two is trapped in his own body being fully conscious but barely able to move or talk after doctors repeatedly misdiagnosed his stroke.
Ivan Smirnov, 36, from the city of Chelyabinsk in the south-eastern Russian Oblast of the same name, has been diagnosed with locked-in syndrome and is stuck in his hospital bed.
His wife Natalya, 34, said her husband’s medical problems first began in February 2019, when he was “a healthy man” saying that “he worked as a mechanic at his father’s workshop”.
She says: “On 11th February, 2019, we were driving our kids to school when he told me that he felt bad driving the car so we decided to change. When we dropped the kids at school he asked me to call an ambulance which arrived and (the paramedics) gave him a pill as he had high blood pressure.”
Ivan reportedly went home and slept but when he woke up he was struggling to walk.
His wife added: “When we asked if it could be a stroke they said ‘no’ and diagnosed him with cervical osteochondrosis and told us to go home. When we left the doctor’s room Ivan fell down and started vomiting yet doctors insisted it was not a stroke.”
According to Natalya they decided to call an ambulance again and took Ivan to the regional hospital. She said: “While driving his left side was drooping and convulsions started. When we got to the place, an MRI and electrocardiography confirmed he had suffered a stroke. He fell into a coma that night.”
Ivan woke up two weeks later yet was not able to move, talk, eat or breathe by himself. When Natalya showed him a photo of their two children on her phone he started crying – showing the doctors he was still conscious.
Natalya said: “On 22nd May we took him to Dr Volkova’s rehabilitation centre in Ekaterinburg city and now he can breathe, eat, drink, nod and move one of his hands a little. He is fully conscious as we show him a file with letters and he combines sentences by nodding to the right letter.”
Ivan has communicated that he does not need a wheelchair and ‘will definitely walk by himself one day’.
Clinical psychologist Elizaveta Leontyeva explained that Ivan’s condition is called locked-in syndrome, and is a consequence of a stem stroke.
Leontyeva said: “Locked-in syndrome is a rare phenomenon with the patient’s arms and legs completely paralysed, but at the same time a clear consciousness, their intellect does not suffer, the person understands everything but cannot talk.”
According to the reports, a criminal case was opened into medical error yet no suspects have been named or reported.
Ivan’s daughter and son have continued attending school while his wife takes care of him.
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Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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