Dancing On Ice star Alex Murphy has told how she didn't even recognise herself in the mirror after she suffered a terrifying stroke at 24.
The star had the stroke eight years ago straight after performing in an ice show on a cruise ship, and has now shared that it left her unable to talk or feel her arms.
She told Metro: "I couldn't lift my right arm – I thought that's funny – then I couldn't untie my skates or feel my foot.
“I had no idea what it was and felt like I was having a weird out of body experience. I started banging my hands on the sink to see if I could put life into them."
The professional skater, 32, said that she looked in a mirror and didn't even recognise herself, explaining: "I didn't know I was Alex."
Alex was taken to a hospital in Tenerife where she underwent several tests, but because she was in her early 20s most people didn't suspect a stroke.
She then returned to the US, where she was born.
The star revealed things were still a bit muddled at that point as when she left Tenerife she "mistook a table for a shoe and saw a dog and thought it was a monkey".
But once she was back in America doctors determined that Alex had suffered a stroke caused by having a hole in the heart.
She then had to choose between having surgery to fix the hole or taking blood thinners for the rest of her life.
Alex decided to have the surgery, and was able to return to her beloved ice skating.
She went on to land a slot on the Dutch version of Dancing On Ice, which she credits with helping with her recovery, and later moved to the UK version of the competition, where she skated to victory with Joe Swash last year.
She was dropped from Dancing On Ice just months after winning and said on Instagram that she was "broken hearted" about it.
"This decision has come as a huge shock to me," she said at the time, adding that she adored the programme and was left feeling "bewildered, lost, and devastated".
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