A Tayside mum-of-two has spoken of her agony after a life-changing stroke left her unable to hold her baby.
Louise McLuckie, 36, from Carnoustie, is making slow progress on the road to recovery since her world was turned upside down in March.
She is now urging young people not to take their health for granted.
Miss McLuckie collapsed in her bedroom just four months after giving birth to her second child Freya.
She could not feel her left arm or left leg and was rushed to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
She was given a CT scan which detected she had suffered an ischemic stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain.
Miss McLuckie – who is also mum to 11-year-old Holly – now has a splint and walks with the aid of a stick.
She depends on a mobility scooter because she can’t walk more than 20 metres and still suffers short-term memory loss.
Miss McLuckie, who is left-handed cannot use her left arm, and say it has had a devastating impact on family life.
“I can’t pick up my baby, I can’t change her nappy, I can’t dress her and I can’t put her to her bed,” she said.
“These are things most mums take for granted and it’s heartbreaking because they grow up so quickly.
“Freya is just nine months old and not being able to do these simple things has been harder to deal with than some of the physical effects.
“Thankfully my mum and my sister help me but my life has changed forever and I just want to stress that this can happen at any age – strokes just don’t hit people who are old.
“I didn’t think it could happen to me and I took my health for granted but I won’t do that again.”
Before she became pregnant with Freya she admits she was a 20-a-day smoker who ate fast food, guzzled fizzy drinks and didn’t exercise.
She developed high blood pressure in pregnancy and gestational diabetes and gave birth four weeks early.
Miss McLuckie had been put on beta-blockers to lower her high blood pressure but had stopped taking them just before she collapsed.
“I think coming off the beta-blockers didn’t help and neither did my lifestyle,” she said.
“Now I’m going to physio once a week and I’ve started personal training sessions because I’m determined to get well again.”
Miss McLuckie’s sister Stephanie and mum Lorraine have been helping her care for Freya and Holly while she battles back to health.
She has been left unable to drive or go back to her job as a hairdresser following the stroke and says she has been left a virtual recluse.
However, she plans to walk across the Tay Bridge on November 4 to raise funds towards equipment and physical training sessions that will help her recovery.
“It’s a massive goal for me to do but I know with the right support we can smash it,” she said.
People can support her by going to https://www.gofundme.com/a2yfd8-stroke-recovery