AT first, Mollie Docherty thought she was experiencing "some terrible hangover" when, aged just 23, an ischaemic stroke hit her out of the blue.

It was a Sunday morning in 2017 and Ms Docherty, from Dundee, was tidying her house after having friends over the night before.

"All of a sudden I experienced this sharp pain down the left hand side of my face," she said.

"I found a mirror in the hallway but I couldn't see anything that looked out of the ordinary.

"Then it was literally like a flick of a light switch - all of a sudden I became dizzy and disorientated, I was losing my balance, I couldn't keep myself standing.

"I thought this was just some terrible hangover so I got to the bottom of the stairs and I tried to climb the stairs to go back to bed, but because I was just so limp I couldn't do it.

"That's when I realised there must be something serious going on."

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Home alone as her mother was on holiday, Ms Docherty dialled the neighbours on her mobile, but with the effects of the stroke already hindering her speech all she could do was cry down the phone.

They found her collapsed in the hallway and called an ambulance.

Once at Ninewells, she was rushed for an emergency CT scan and then thombolysis.

A subsequent MRI scan revealed that the cause of her stroke had been a blood clot on her brain stem.

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Ms Docherty was young, had never smoked, was not overweight, and tests revealed no risk factors such as a hole in her heart or anomalies in her blood.

However, she was on the contraceptive pill and had been suffering migraines, something that can be a warning sign of stroke risk in women.

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After two weeks in Ninewells, Ms Docherty was transferred to a local brain injury unit for intensive rehabilitation after losing most of the movement down her right-hand side.

"Within the first couple of weeks, the bigger movements came back in my leg and my arm, but it was the finer movements in my fingers and toes that took about three months before I started to see any movement in them.

"I was doing everything with one hand for quite a long time.

"To this day on my right side I would say I'm still very weak, and I do still struggle with my right leg when I'm walking sometimes - it can get tired quite easily, I tend to trip up sometimes because I don't have the same lift that I used to compared to my left foot.

"But overall I've made a pretty good recovery from it all."