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'I'm a medical mystery,' says teenage girl who suffered stroke aged 17

A teenage girl has told how she has managed to continue her life despite suffering brain damage from a stroke when she was just 17.

Shannonree Maher told the Ryan Tubridy Show that one day two years ago, she woke up with a heavy feeling on her left hand side.

Throughout the day she realised something was wrong when she was losing her balance, and wasn't able to write properly.

She had to be taken to hospital where the doctors couldn't understand how, at her age, she could have a stroke.

She said: "They can't explain anything because my symptoms took a full week to develop."

Having dropped out of school, Shannonree is now in Headway where she is working towards getting an equivalent to the Leaving Cert with the view to go on to further education in the years to come.

Shannonree told the RTÉ Radio 1 show that she didn't believe that a stroke would result in her having a brain injury that would effect her for the rest of her life.

"I'm a medical mystery," she said.

"You'd notice that I'd have a bit of a limp the left side... if you're young enough you bounce back quicker from the stroke, you don't necessarily have to look like you had a stroke to have one."

Shannonree also explained this morning about being on sleeping tablets since having the stroke two years ago.

She said: "I think I sleep four hours a night if I'm lucky."

She agreed with Ryan Tubridy's personal view on taking tablets saying that she wakes up the next morning knowing that she has slept but doesn't feel like she has had a great sleep.

Short-term memory loss is something that Shannonree has been left with, saying that she'll put a reminder in her phone or she'll ask somebody to help remind her about things.

Now 19, Shannonree told Ryan that she tries to live the life her friends live - going out, socialising.

However, fatigue gets in the way. If she does have a night of drinking with friends, it'll take her two weeks to recover from it.

Is she missing out? She told Ryan that she doesn't get angry anymore, saying that not being able to do things doesn't matter as much.

But she will rest up in advance of doing something with her friends, asking for a week's notice.

She said: "More than anything, I love spending time with my family and friends but I have to pace myself."

Shannonree feels there is not enough information available to young people who suffer a stroke, which is why she has set up a blog youngstrokeshappen.blogspot.com.