Michelle Wheatley has been left a prisoner in her own body at the age of 26 — she is able to communicate only by blinking her eyes.
Wheatley was a healthy mother of two until a sudden and inexplicable stroke plunged her into a living hell.
With the exception of her eyes, Wheatley’s body was left paralyzed from head to toe — but her mind remained untouched, meaning she can still think, see and hear.
Baffled doctors eventually diagnosed "locked-in syndrome" — a grave and rare medical plight likened to the sensation of being "buried alive."
Certain parts of victims’ brains are damaged, but others remain completely unscathed.
But despite her harrowing ordeal, Wheatley of Stockport, Greater Manchester in England, continues to spell out her love for her boyfriend and and two kids through an astonishing language comprised entirely by blinks and eye movements.
With the help of Ryan, 4, and Holly, 1, partner Rick Blease, 25, presents the letters of the alphabet to Michelle on a piece of card-board.
As they scroll from one to the next, Michelle will indicate which letter she wants to choose by looking upwards for a "yes" or blinking to say "no".
Whole words take several minutes — but the painstaking process is the doting mother's only link to the outside world.