'Momentous day' as Clodagh Dunlop returns to work with PSNI after locked-in battle
The PSNI has hailed as a "momentous day," Clodagh Dunlop's return to work after her battle with locked-in syndrome.
Clodagh (37) was left with the condition as a result of a massive stroke in April last year.
The policewoman from Magherafelt began a phased return to work on Monday after collecting a new specially adapted car at the weekend.
The PSNI in Foyle, posting on Facebook, said: "Today is a pretty momentous day as we welcome Clodagh Dunlop back to work after an 18 month absence.
"Many of you have been following Clodagh's progress since suffering a stroke which resulted in 'locked-in' syndrome.
"Clodagh has been a true inspiration as she has defied the odds. She may also be the world's first sufferer from 'locked-in' syndrome to return to work within 18 months.
"Throughout this incredibly challenging time Clodagh has kept her infectious smile, which has now become her trademark.
"Clodagh will now be playing a meaningful role Keeping People Safe in Derry & Strabane, with a particular focus on drugs.
"We would like to thank all those who have offered words of support and encouragement to Clodagh or helped in her recovery. We know there are still challenges ahead but we also know that Clodagh has demonstrated the motivation, tenacity and courage to take them all on.
"Welcome back Clodagh."
Chief Constable George Hamilton added: "Welcome back Clodagh."
Following her stroke, Clodagh, spent months trapped inside her body, unable to move, speak or swallow, and was only able to communicate by blinking after a devastating brain stem stroke.
"I feel like I can breathe again," she told the Belfast Telegraph.
"I had three goals after my stroke and they were to drive again, to get back to work and to run again, and I've managed two out of three of them now."
Clodagh was crowned the Belfast Telegraph's Woman of the Year in June and described getting her new black Mini Cooper on Saturday as getting her independence back.