When life deals you lemons you make lemonade

When life deals you lemons you make lemonade

At the age of 18 i collapsed on Xmas Eve.

I was in a coma a week.

Seems id suffered a haemorrhage of the brain stem.

Eventually, after a shunt was fitted, i was stable enough to have the operation to use a laser on a cluster of aneurysms on the brain stem that where due to burst.

Performing this tricky operation was Mr Gordon Brocklehurst.

On the operating theatre disaster happened as one of the blood vessels burst causing a bleed and, in turn, causing a clot. The surgeon was unsure hed got all the offending anneuryms but used the laser as best he could.

I spent weeks learning to walk and set myself small goals.

My Mum was retraining to be a nurse at the time and i joined the local Headway group at Grimsby where i met other people who had suffered similar injuries to the brain from cyclists to road traffic accidents to brain tumours.

This group later disbanded.

A few years later a Headway in Scunthorpe formed where sufferers and families of sufferers would meet every month.

My Mum became a staff nurse on the neuro ward at Hull Royal Infirmary.

Making people aware a group existed was a hard job and it took things like trekking across China (I did 55 miles).

I became a chef teaching adults with learning difficulties and with the help of Headway and my family beside me i began to rebuild my life.

I later joined Headway Hull too because it was coming up to Christmas and being a member of 2 groups meant 2 Xmas meals.

In October 2013 i was living alone and suddenly my legs collapsed. I crawled to my phone and rang my Mum who was now in retirement.

She took me to Hull Royal Infirmary and from 9,30am till 11pm i was undergoing tests to find out what was wrong.

Tests revealed i had a small aneurysm that was about to burst on the cerebellum and it would kill me if nothing was done.

I had the choice (Hobsons Choice) to have the cerebellum injected with a glue. It would stop any further bleeding but would give the effects of a stroke.

I opted for this and after 3 weeks in HRI i was sent home.

I continued to live alone and i was taught the basic balance techniques by some very wonderful Occupational Therapists.

Im now volunteering at a local food bank. I volunteer at a snack bar of a medical centre and im still an avid member of Scunthorpe and Hull Headway groups.

Im STILL single BTW. LOL

7 Replies

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  • What an inspirational story, just shows you should never give up, hopefully I can work my way up to volunteering, I'd like that but I find my speech goes when multitasking, so not easy to deal with others in that kind of situation, I'm hoping it will improve yet. Janet x

  • Well done to you for not giving up.

    It's fantastic that you are able to give back to others still.

    I'm glad you found us here and felt able to share your story

  • WHAT A STORY. HOW BRAVELY YOU HAVE COPED WITH IT ALL.

    TREKKING ACCROSS CHINA? MOST 'HEALTHY' PEOPLE WOULDN'T EVEN ATTEMPT IT. I CONFESS THAT WHEN I WAS THERE WE DID IT BY SOFT CLASS IN TRAINS & ONLY WALKED ABOUT 10 YARDS BACK ACCROSS THE BORDER INTO HONG KONG!

    WELL DONE YOU.

  • I'M WATCHING SIR BEEFY IN THE MIDDLE AS WE SPEAK! NOT SURE I CAN BEAR TO WATCH THE TEST, GRAND PRIX IS ALSO ON SO I MAY HAVE TO DEFECT TO THAT.

    MY SPELLING IS SO RUBBISH TODAY, APOLOGIES IT THINGS ARE GARBLED. MUCH CORRECTING GOING ON.

    SPELL CHECK WOULD BE A VERY USEFUL ADDITION TO THE SITE.

  • Well done you for achieving so much its brilliant you now helping others . I to have a shunt fitted mine was to drain abscesses on the brain , its doing the job but still not even two years ago yet , but slowly but surely I hope to do voluntary work in the near future . I need to regain some confidence f.irst

  • Hi, lovely story, keep smiling and posting on here to keep us inspired.K

  • I hope you are still keeping well. May I ask if you were on Ward 9 at HRI around 1985/6? I was the only person on the ward at that time having undergone extensive spinal surgery x5. Mr Brocklehurst saved my legs by removing spinal compression caused by stenosis and ruptured discs. I was transferred from Grimsby hospital to HRI because I needed specialist care. Your face and your story seem familiar to me. I still have problems with my spine but if it wasn't for Mr Brocklehurst I would have been in a wheelchair many years ago. If you're still on this forum perhaps we can start a conversation.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

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