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My name is Jo Dilks and this is my story, well some of it!!!

On the 15h January 2008 (2 days after my 49th birthday) I was in my office eating lunch. ( I was Loss Prevention Manager for a shoe company with responsibility for 12 auditors, covering 500 plus shops throughout the United Kingdom) After lunch around 2pm I started to deal with a mound of paperwork on my desk, when I got the most horrendous pain in my head, luckily for me on that day my colleague Phil was in his office. After approx 15 minutes the pain wouldn't go away, so I knocked on his door, he took one look at me and called an ambulance. I was taken to Doncaster hospital where I became unconscious and was sent by emergency ambulance to Sheffield Hallamshire where it was eventually discovered I had had a brain haemorrhage cause by an AVM ( birth defect) The bleed flooded the complete brain, effecting all areas one area more than the others, this was the cerebellum which controls muscle co-ordination and balance.

I had a 5 hour operation to remove the bleed, part of a bone was also removed to successfully clear the bleed. My husband was told the next 24 hours were critical. I would either die or be in a coma. I did neither and the next morning was conscious, although I have no memory of this or the next month in Hallamshire and for sometime after life was very hazy to say the least. Jan 2008 changed my life forever. This was the beginning of a new life for me, my husband and our son.

There is lots that have happened since the BH....

The various hospitals i was in. My illness and how I/we coped in the beginning and how were coping now. Learning to live with how my life changed in 15minutes. Loss of relationship with others. Not able to leave my home by myself since the BH. Dealing with loosing my job, independence, not able to drive anymore. The list just goes on and on

We have done some things right and some things wrong but life goes on and nearly 5 years on we can see light at the end of the tunnel :) We have learnt so much about the illness and how to cope with it and life is good, very good

If anyone thinks I can help in anyway please ask I am only too willing to help.

2 Replies

Dear jo I know that headway groups and branches are always looking for volunteers and with your own experience of surviving brain injury you would be a huge help to others.


Dear abisupporter, I tried volunteer work with Dial and Mind (both charity's ) Due to the damage to my brain and for me to be safe, my consultant advised to cope outside the home i must aways have assistance, which is very frustrating and restricting. But needs must in this case. I/we ave learnt so much and I will find a way to try and help others, while also helping myself and husband.


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