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'My brave wife's biggest desire is to be able to hug our children again'


Marcin and Aleksandra with son Piotr at his First Communion

Marcin and Aleksandra with son Piotr at his First Communion

Marcin and Aleksandra with son Piotr at his First Communion

Loving mother Aleksandra Filak's dream is to hug her children again after a stroke left her paralysed and mute.

Aleksandra (34) has locked-in syndrome caused by the stroke, which came just three weeks after she gave birth to her second child, Anastasia, 17 months ago.

Previously in excellent health, she can now only communicate with her eyes and is in need of 24-hour care.

Her husband Marcin has been forced to leave a job he loved so he can take care of his wife and children, the eldest of whom, Piotr (13), has autism.

"Everything was perfect," said Marcin, of Kildalkey, Co Meath. "Aleksandra never had a problem with her health. She never smoked, looked after herself, we can't understand it.


"The stroke didn't affect her brain itself but destroyed the part that sends signals to the muscles to move.

"She can only move her eyes up and down or from left to right because the optic nerve wasn't affected.

"We communicate at the minute with a special alphabet board and with colours but she knows everything that is going on. Inside, she is the same Aleksandra."

Aleksandra spent nine months in the Mater Hospital and a further four months in the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire, where she remains.

But her biggest wish is to be able to hug Anastasia and Piotr again.

"She's a warrior," said Marcin. "Despite everything, she hasn't lost her sense of humour and fighting spirit and above all her involvement in the family.

"But she hasn't held our daughter since she was three weeks old. It's her biggest desire to be able to hug them again.

"Our son is now 13 and attends a special school.

"Aleksandra played a key role in providing him with the services and supports he needed and they were very close. He is doing well at school but he has difficulty understanding and expressing feelings about what happened to his mother."

Marcin had to give up his job at Alfco in Trim, where he says his bosses and colleagues have been hugely supportive.

However, he needs funds to take care of his family while they are waiting for HSE to approve a home care package.

"Aleksandra desperately wants to get home and I know she will progress even further at home," he said. "But she will need specialist equipment.

"I loved working at Alfco. My two bosses and all the staff were so good to me.

"Fr Sean from Trim and Fr Janusz from Navan, alongside the Polish community, have also helped hugely.

"I loved my job. We rented a house and our dream was to buy a house in Ireland in 2018. That was the plan but that plan and our life changed in 20 minutes when my wife got that stroke.

"I dream of going back to work because it will mean that my wife is OK again and I can again provide and care for my family like it should be. But at the moment, that is impossible and we just need money for everyday living."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Marcin at gofundme.com/please-support-ola-amp-family.