Wedding guest left paralysed after suffering stroke from sumo wrestling game at family reception 

Telegraph 1 month ago

A woman has been left paralysed after suffering a massive stroke from sumo wrestling at a family wedding.

Carol Dickson-Fisher was rushed to hospital a day after play fighting in a padded sumo suit at the reception. The exertion is thought to have caused the 52-year-old IT worker a neck strain which then led to a bleed on the brain. Within a day she was unable to move down one side and has now been told she may never walk again following the wedding game.

Mrs Dickson-Fisher attended the marriage of her partner's daughter Yvonne Neville-Binder to James Hadley-Binder on the Milward Estate in Laughton, East Sussex, on Aug 10. The bride and groom had organised party games for the children attending - one involving a sumo wrestling mat with huge costumes.

Mrs Dickson-Fisher's partner Nancy said her wife's freak accident has led to a distressing personality change and she wishes they had never even picked up the sumo costumes.

She said: "It is like looking after a child. I am regularly in floods of tears. I still love her and I will stand by her but her but she is not the person I married."

The 56-year-old nurse knew Carol had suffered a stroke after sensing her fidgeting in bed the night after the wedding.

An ambulance was called and a CT scan found significant bleeding and swelling in the brain and a large chunk of her skull had to be removed. Nancy was told that an operation was solely to save her partner's life and would have no bearing on the stroke.

Carol was "moments from death" before the surgery and Nancy had to endure a horrendous night waiting to learn whether her wife survived. After the life-saving op a stroke consultant explained how there was a tear in her neck artery.

Nancy said: "The pictures of the wedding were on the walls and I saw the sumo-wrestling pictures and I thought oh my goodness could I have caused that? I said it to the consultant and he said the sumo wrestling was the most likely cause."

Carol has not walked since and is recovering at a rehab centre in Cornwall. The left side of her face is paralaysed along with her left arm and leg. Her short term memory has been hindered and a bleed in her frontal lobe has caused personality changes.

Carol Dickson-Fisher recovering from her stroke
Carol Dickson-Fisher recovering from her stroke

Nancy explained how Carol used to be quiet but is now overly chatty, gets separation anxiety and constantly sends messages asking where she is.

She said: "When she was in critical care I brought in a Bagpuss toy for her to squeeze in her right arm when my hand wasn't there. But it has become a crutch and she talks through it - and that is quite distressing. The little toy is almost like an imaginary friend."

She added: "Obviously I am a nurse and I am used to looking after people and I have three children and eight grandchildren - but I never imagined I would have to be looking after my wife in this way."

The pair had moved to Redruth, Cornwall, in July for the start of a new life. Both chose the south-west for the outdoor sporting opportunities - with Carol being a fitness fanatic and triathlon runner.

Nancy is now preparing to care for her loved one when she finally returns home on November 15. The pair are barely surviving off Nancy's pension and money earned from her 10 hours a week in a GP surgery after semi-retiring earlier this year.

Nancy said she will struggle to work more hours because of how fragile her wife is. She is now fundraising for home equipment including an electric wheelchair to make Carol's life easier.

The couple will continue living in Cornwall - despite Nancy's family being in Uckfield, East Sussex.

She said: "My children said I can't go now this has happened. But I really wanted to do what Carol wanted and what was best for her. I said to her 'do you still want to move to Cornwall' and she said yes.

"So I have done it for her but it has made it very hard for me because I don't have any support locally."

Around 100,000 people every year have a stroke and roughly 15,000 of them are caused by a bleed in the brain.

Dominic Brand, executive director for external affairs at the Stroke Association, said: "When an artery tears in the brain, oxygen can't get to your brain cells and they start to die. We know that trauma can cause this to happen, but there isn't enough research to tell us why.

"The best thing you can do to reduce your risk of stroke is to regularly monitor and get help to manage your blood pressure, reduce your alcohol intake and keep active.

"The brain is the control centre for who we are and what we can do. The impact of stroke could be anything from wiping out your speech and physical abilities, to affecting your emotions and personality.

"We know that a lot of people have problems with adjusting to life after stroke, so it's really important that families, friends and health professionals who support stroke survivors understand what it means to live with the effects of stroke, ask how people are feeling, and provide them with the appropriate emotional and psychological support."

Tags: Hospitals

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A WOMAN has been left paralysed and brain damaged after suffering a massive stroke while sumo wrestling at a family wedding. Carol Dickson-Fisher, 52, had a brain bleed hours after play-fighting at the Sussex reception on August 10. She was rushed to...
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Carol Dickson-Fisher, 52, was rushed to hospital a day after play fighting in a padded sumo suit at a wedding reception in East Sussex. The IT worker previously competed in triathlons.
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