About Dr Kate Allatt
Good stories stick longer, shape visions, teach lessons, set values & define culture…
In Kate’s own words …
“In early February, I was invited on BBC radio to talk about my daring charity climb up the Western Breach of Kilimanjaro, for my fortieth birthday, in June 2010. I was a super fit, fell runner, digital marketer, married, devoted mother of three young children – Woody 5, Harvey 8 India 10 – but our lives were to change forever. Just four days after that bubbly radio interview, I suddenly suffered a catastrophic brain stem stroke. Kilimanjaro never happened. I emerged from my medically induced coma and was considered vegetative. However, I could actually think, feel, see and hear normally but was just unable to move a single muscle. I felt ‘buried alive’, ‘trapped inside my body’ as I suffered the terrifying condition known as Locked In Syndrome, at the age of 39. However, a chance telephone call from the same radio producer, was to transform my shattered life, and thus give it meaning and purpose. More importantly, I was able to help transform the shattered lives of equally written-off, forgotten, people,affected by Locked In Syndrome, globally, The results are nothing short of astonishing. I’ve learnt how important it is for people to be given a good quality of life back in the community. It’s simply not good enough to pat ourselves on the back for skillfully saving the lives of people who would have simply died a few years ago. We must consider how we can help make these survivors be the best they can be in our communities afterwards. Presently, most long term Locked In Syndrome survivors merely just ‘exist’ pitifully in our nursing homes. I’ve also learnt there are ‘no promises, just possibilities’ and HOPE. “
Dr Allatt was considered ‘better off dead’ but her extraordinary recovery and resilience, proves you can do anything if it matters enough.
Dr Kate Allatt was born in Poynton in 1970. She has evaded death a number of times including being originally booked on the doomed Lockerbie Pan Am flight at 18 in 1988. She only postponed her flight three weeks before the bombing. Kate returned to study a Business Studies degree at Sheffield Hallam University in 1989 and pursued a digital marketing career, whilst juggling her very ‘hands-on’ role with her then young children India, Harvey and Woody. She was an obsessive 70 mile a week fell runner too. However at 39 years of age, she suffered a catastrophic brainstem stroke and was diagnosed with Locked In Syndrome (LIS) in 2010, after initially being misdiagnosed with a stress induced migraine. LIS is a horrific condition where you can think, feel, see and hear normally but be unable to move anything below your eyelids.
Astonishingly, later in that same year in 2010, she started writing her now Internationally published book ‘Running Free; Breaking out of Locked In Syndrome’ (2011). Her book has subsequently become a global stroke recovery manual, but also an inspirational non-fiction book for anyone who needs to be inspired. Furthermore, Just three months after leaving hospital she founded and ran her global digital charity – Fighting Strokes (2011-2016). Kate won Extraordinary Woman in 2011, was a VIP guest of the Deputy PM Nick Clegg MP at the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony for her global LIS advocacy In 2013, she pioneered and co-wrote the ESCAPS feasibility research with Dr Joanna Fletcher-Smith at The University of Nottingham in 2013, and they were awarded £250,000 research funding, all initially from Kate’s single tweet! In 2014, she was a guest at the Queen’s Garden Party again for her global advocacy and charity work with stroke survivors with Fighting Strokes. In 2017 Kate was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University for her altruism impact and reach. Kate likes to deliver wow-factor, authentic and very funny inspirational and motivational speeches you cant hear ‘a pin drop’ on. Her topics include resiliency, inclusivity, growth mindset, thriving, mental toughness and leadership storytelling. She is a TEDx speaker ‘Voicing Inner Thoughts Matters’. What Kate has achieved since 2010, goes way beyond her astonishing recovery, and proves undeniably that you can achieve anything in life if it matters enough and you try damned hard. Dr Kate is the ultimate LockedIn but not lockdown kid!
Her media appearances include:
BBC Jeremy Vine, BBC Victoria Derbyshire TV, BBC Today, BBC Newsnight, BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Sheffield, The One Show, This Morning, Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, RTL Germany, ABC Australia, The Times, The Times on Sunday, The Indian Times, Readers Digest, Woman & Home, Woman, The Good housekeeping Guide, BBC World Service, Sky News, GLOBO TV, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, etc….
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.”