Margaret Cromarty was a nurse who suffered a catastrophic stroke aged just 43, which left her with Locked-In Syndrome. Still paralysed even now, with the aid of an on-screen keyboard she has written this unflinching account of her treatment. It describes the frustrations of being fully aware but ignored as a person by carers unable to communicate effectively, and the painfully slow steps towards rehabilitation.It contains vital lessons for health professionals caring for victims of stroke, and for families and friends of patients. 'I learned later that the doctors expected that I would die. They made a poor attempt at concealing this expectation. They discussed me over me. I was dismayed at the negative vibes they exuded each time they came to see me. I felt that they had written me off already. Of course they can have had little idea of how their behaviour affected me. I just lay there, seemingly unresponsive, just existing, unable to enlighten them as to what was going on inside my head.' - Margaret Cromarty.

chapter 1|4 pages

The day the sky fell in

chapter 2|6 pages


chapter 3|3 pages

Live or let die

chapter 4|4 pages

Reality and unreality

chapter 5|4 pages

More unreality

chapter 6|10 pages

The early days

chapter 7|8 pages

Moving on

chapter 8|19 pages


chapter 9|9 pages

Rehabilitation begins

chapter 10|13 pages

Food, glorious food

chapter 11|9 pages

Eating the elephant

chapter 12|6 pages

Happy birthday

chapter 13|7 pages

With a little help from my friends

chapter 14|11 pages

The home run

chapter 15|3 pages

And now …