Sub Arachnoid Haemorrhage Survivor

I have seen several posts by those who are suffering from the effects of SAH or TBI. I don't know if my personal experiences will help but this is my background.

Between September 1979 and July 1984 I suffered three Sub-Arachnoid Haemorrhages. The first wasn't diagnosed as a SAH due to the circumstances, but suspected Meningitis. When the second Haemorrhage occurred, 3 years later, I suffered over 20 hours of intense pain before I accepted hospital admission on the third visit by a doctor.

On that occasion the problem was diagnosed as a SAH caused by a Sub-arachnoid Arterial Malformation. After several test it was concluded that the problem was inoperable at that time. I recovered and although the 1979 admission was now thought likely to be a SAH I was told I had just been unlucky and it may never happen again. I went back to a normal life.

In July 1984 I suffered a third Haemorrhage and on this occasion I immediately lost consciousness. I awoke in hospital and It was confirmed that I had suffered a third SAH. A neuro-surgery came to see me and said that surgical intervention had no guarantees of success. I could be left blind, paralysed or in a permanent vegetative state. If no intervention was carried out I may never have another recurrence or if it happened again it could be fatal. I immediately said I would have the surgery, this couldn't in the circumstances be carried out until the September of 1984.

I had the operation on the 14th September. I spent five days in a coma and when I regained consciousness I was partially paralysed down my left hand side. I was just starting to recover from this when I contracted Meningococcal Sceptacimia. This was successfully treated, but left me with double vision due to fluid pressure on the optic nerve. This was corrected by a second neuro-surgical procedure to insert a Ventricular Pressure Shunt.

It has now been over 32 years since I had the above problems. Recovery wasn't always straightforward but with determination and a great deal of support I was fortunate to return to 'normal'. I cannot say that anyone suffering SAH or TBI will be as lucky as I have been. It took a very long time to overcome the challenges that these events caused. However, I had incredible support from a great number of people. However, I consider the greatest achievements in my life to have occurred post surgery.

To anyone who has read this and to who it has any significance I can only say one thing


3 Replies

  • I second that

  • Thanks for your response. I hope life is being good to you.

  • What an incredible journey you have been on and you should be so proud with yourself. I suffered a SAH last March and I have had 3 brain operations and it's been a very slow recovery actually still going but I recently went to a Life After Suburachnoid Haemorrhage conference in London from the Brain and Spine Foundation and it was so helpful and informative. I also met other people that have been through something similar. I have put some links below which you can check out and my video blogs about what I went through:



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