Not only was she paralysed down her right side, she had developed the little known neurological condition aphasia, which affects the area of the brain responsible for language, speech and communication. “I couldn’t talk at all,” recalls mother-of-two Pamela today, nine years after that terrifying moment. “I literally felt voiceless.” Aphasia can be caused by a variety of conditions – brain tumours, head injuries and disorders such as dementia. But strokes are among the most common. They damage the brain by cutting off blood supply and one in three survivors – more than 250,000 people in the UK alone – will consequently develop aphasia.
The condition hit the headlines after the family of Hollywood A-lister Bruce Willis recently revealed he would step away from acting following an aphasia diagnosis. In a statement posted on Instagram, the Die Hard star’s ex-wife Demi Moore called it a “challenging time” and said, “we are moving through this as a strong family unit”.