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'I thought my stroke was a hangover'
A TEENAGER thought he had a bad hangover - but it turned out to be a life-threatening stroke.
Oliver Lilburn, 19, was in school last year on August 26 discussing a school charity trip he had been on in Uganda when the right side of his body started shaking uncontrollably.
Within an hour he was in hospital but as he went through the front door, he lost consciousness.
Doctors told his parents, John and Justine Lilburn, to fear the worst after an MRI scan discovered inoperable brain bleeding.
“They thought I was going to die,” said Oliver, of Coggeshall Road, in Dedham.
“I had been out celebrating my A-Level results for a few weekends in a row and I just thought I had a hangover.
“It felt initially like a fuzzy head that you might have after a few drinks.
“But I started shaking badly and I knew something was wrong.”
The stroke left him with limited movement in his right side and badly affected his speech.
Oliver was taken from St Joseph’s College, in Ipswich, to Ipswich Hospital, where doctors said there was nothing they could do.
The only chance Oliver had was for the bleeding to stop naturally.
But after two weeks in Addenbrooks Hospital, in Cambridge, he was transferred to Colchester General Hospital, to be closer to his family.
“That was the longest five weeks of my life,” Oliver added.
A year on, Oliver is recovering well through intense physiotherapy, and is set to start Bath Spa University in September to study business management.
He is also raising awareness of strokes among younger people and is organising a concert with close friend Florence Irvine, 19, from Felixstowe.
The pair are raising money for charity Different Strokes, which supports young people who have suffered a stroke.
“I think when people think about stokes they do not associate it with teenagers, but it happens, it happened to me and raising awareness is a massive priority for me,” Oliver said.
The concert is taking place at the Steamboat Tavern, in Ipswich, on Sunday, September 16.
Entry is £3 and live bands will be on stage between 4.30pm and 9pm.