A young stroke survivor is hoping to raise awareness of life after the incident by taking part in a campaign around speech therapy.

Alisha Malhotra, 28, suffered a stoke last year which left her severely debilitated and unable to communicate.

Through treatment, and a number of classes in speech and language therapy, her condition of aphasia has improved.

She wants her story to act as inspiration for others who encounter similar difficulties and help them rediscover their voices through the Stroke Association’s ‘Lost for Words’ campaign.

She said: “Within an instant, I’d lost everything. I didn’t know any words; hello, goodbye, mum, dad – they’d all gone.

“I had no idea what had happened to me, and I don’t think I realised in hospital just how serious it was.

“I smiled and nodded to nurses and doctors, and everyone would tell me how well I looked.

“They didn’t realise just how much I was hiding behind my smile; I remember being so confused by everything going on around me.

“I have a head full of ideas and things I want to say, sometimes I think I can’t fit much more in there.

Having aphasia is like being in a bubble, you feel trapped in yourself. It’s all I think about, day in and day out.

“I even have dreams at night where I think when I wake up everything will be as before.”

Alisha, who was working as a primary school teacher before suffering the stroke, explained how the help she has received has been vital in her road to recovery.

She added: “Speech and language therapy has been a huge help to my recovery, but it’s really hard work.

“I’ve had to completely start from scratch. The Stroke Association’s local support group has helped me to meet other stroke survivors who are in the position as me, which has been really helpful.”

She describes herself as a “fighter”, demonstrated by her ability to try and live a full and prosperous life in the face of adversity.

Now she wants to use her story and her experiences to help those who find themselves in a similar position.

She said: “I’m so passionate to help raise awareness of stroke and aphasia now.

“I really want to help other people who are going through what I am, and to support the charity in raising awareness of this difficult condition.

“I am a fighter and I know I will get better, and I will fulfil all my dreams.”

There are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year, with more than 1.2 million people living with the effects of one.

Aphasia – a communication disability which can be caused by stroke – affects more than 350,000 in the country.

Michelle Dalmacio, director of stroke support South at the Stroke Association, described Alisha as “an inspiration to others” and lauded her “incredible determination to get better”.

Visit www.stroke.org.uk/lostforwords for more information and to make a donation.