Sammy Taylor was just 18 when she was first diagnosed with a brain tumour. At 25, she had brain surgery and fell into the rare 2% that suffered a cerebellar stroke, facial nerve damage and permanent eyesight impairment.
After needing to relearn how to to walk, write, feed herself and smile again – becoming the first person in the UK to have a pioneering facial reconstructive surgery – Sammy is now on a mission to remind others that although life will throw obstacles in our way that we can’t control, our ability to adapt to these challenges is what will determine how we truly live.
Contact Great British Speakers today to book brain tumour, stroke, mental health and resilience speaker Sammy Taylor for your next event.
At 18, monthly dizzyspells and spinning walls led Sammy to seek medical advice. She was sent for an MRI scan where a brain tumour was discovered. Although it was unlikely to ever grow or cause an issue, she was put on a ‘watch and wait’ plan to see. By 24, it became dangerously close to blocking the brain fluid that controls everything we do, and surgery was needed. While preparing for surgery, Sammy founded beautybrainuk.com as a way of incorporating daily motivational messages and inspiring a positive mindset throughout this challenge. But Sammy had no idea just how much bigger that challenge was about to become.
Having suffered a rare cerebellar stroke, Sammy woke from surgery unable to see or speak and had to relearn to walk, write and feed herself again. Her permanent visual impairment resulted in a forced career change, while her visible difference meant Sammy had to quickly learn just how much emphasis is placed on beauty and perfection in society.
She also learned that recovery takes time and everyone goes at their own pace in life. But Sammy’s continued motivation and acceptance allowed her to rebuild her life in a way that could still be fulfilling to her, despite the odds.
She’s now on a mission to share that knowledge with others and encourage them to adapt to situations, grow through them and learn to thrive as a result.
“It was a privilege to have Sammy Taylor as the keynote speaker. Sammy spoke of her own experience of life with a brain tumour, as a twenty-something living in London. Having undergone her surgery earlier this year, Sammy inspired the room and set the tone for the whole day as she embodied hope, positivity and the power of seeking joy and enjoying life’s simple pleasures”
– Brainstrust, Optimising Health and Wellbeing Day
Sammy was amazing!! We thought her presentation was very informative and eye-opening and very grateful that she could join us on her birthday to spread awareness for women’s mental health week.