A Huddersfield woman who suffered a devastating stroke two years ago has the chance to undergo pioneering treatment to help her severe speech problems … but the complication is it’s in Mexico.

Zoe Mitton’s devoted family have set up a JustGiving page to raise the £70,000 needed to fund the month-long visit to the clinic for intensive treatment and just over £10,000 has been raised so far.

They first heard about the clinic in Mexico called NeuroCytonix when Zoe’s sister, Kirsteen, saw former footballer Chris Kamara being interviewed on TV.

He had stepped back from his football broadcasting role when he was diagnosed with the neurological condition apraxia which was affecting his speech and movement but it has improved since he’d been to the clinic in Mexico for experimental treatment.

The treatment involves a full assessment and then Zoe will spend an hour a day in an MRI scanner which targets the areas of the brain affected by the stroke with the aim that it helps the brain to repair itself but there are no guarantees. It’s a process called neural plasticity.

Zoe, 52, of Longwood, was the head of graduate recruitment at international recruitment company FDM and had gone to bed as normal on July 4, 2022.

But she woke up in the early hours the next day and realised something was terribly wrong. She couldn’t move her right leg or arm and managed to somehow drag herself downstairs into the living-room but was unable to lift the phone or even speak to summon help and was found 12 hours later when her cleaner arrived.



Zoe spent the summer in Calderdale Royal Hospital where she was diagnosed with aphasia caused by a bleed on the brain. This is a complex communication disorder that impacts speech, reading, writing and understanding of language.

She also suffered Covid and a chest infection during her hospital stay but the intense physiotherapy helped and, encouraged by her boyfriend Johnnie Turner and Kirsteen, managed to learn to walk again.

But the speech has always remained a problem. Zoe knows what she wants to say but the words just don’t come out right, leaving her very frustrated.

After she was allowed home from hospital in September 2022 Zoe has received support from the charity Aphasia Support which has helped her with speech and language therapy. Her speech has improved and she can now be understood by friends and family.

Kirsteen, of Sowood near Outlane, said: “The stroke has affected Zoe’s mobility, speech, energy and so many other areas of her life and she has not been able to return to a career she was so passionate about.

“Despite this she has demonstrated incredible resilience and courage as she has embraced her recovery with the sole intention of returning to her career and life of adventures with her partner, family and friends.

“She’s been so active in learning to walk again, speak and to regain her independence and is making significant progress. When it comes to her speech all the words are in her brain but there seems to be a kind of short circuit getting to the mouth and then actually forming her words.”


Six months after Zoe’s stroke medics discovered it had been triggered by a congenital heart defect.

Kirsteen added: “Zoe has now been offered a remarkable opportunity for this pioneering new treatment in Mexico which offers potentially significant improvement in speech, communication, mobility and will be instrumental in helping her to get back to the very full life she was living before this tragic event.”

The money is needed to cover travel expenses, extensive treatment for 28 days and accommodation costs during the stay.

Once the money has been raised the family will book Zoe’s treatment in Mexico.

Kirsteen, 50, is running the York Marathon in October to raise money while Johnnie’s sister, Sarah Hodgson, of Holmfirth, is cycling up hills near her home every day until she has cycled the equivalent of going up Mount Everest. It will take her four months.

To help, donate via the JustGiving page HERE

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.