Nicky’s Story

“Believe in Hope!

I owe my life to, 999 services & the Air Ambulance and the NHS and now the Aphasia Charity which has shown me that there are a lot of people out there just like me, I’m not alone!

My Story is something I wouldn’t have expected, I was healthy, working full time and my first grand daughter on the way, LIFE WAS GOOD (so I thought!).

November 2019 – I went to bed as normal, woke up in the middle of the night, sat up and suddenly had a shooting pain in my head – a ‘cluster headache’ apparently. I knew something was not right and managed to phone 999. I don’t remember anything else until the paramedics arrived, I kept going in and out of consciousness, at one point I heard the paramedics discussing how they were going to get me down stairs, to which I sat up saying ‘I could walk down to the ambulance’! Once on the trolley I don’t remember anything else until the next day when I went down to have brain surgery (it’s funny how the adrenaline can take over at the right time) – it turned out to be a bleed on the brain, ‘an aneurysm’, which I had never heard of before. I stayed in hospital for 2 to 3 weeks before I came home.

Having returned home, 3 days later, I apparently had another aneurysm, this time very serious, I stopped breathing and don’t remember anything for a month!

So this account is through the eyes of friends and family and my Dog, who was brought to Derriford a few times!

I collapsed on my sofa and a passing neighbour saw me through the window who then called for an Ambulance and because of the severity of it all, the Air Ambulance was also sent, and on board was a Trauma Surgeon who saved my life.

They eventually managed to get me breathing and it was touch & go as to whether they would be operating on my kitchen table (and I have the marks on my kitchen table still, to remind me how lucky I was!) or flying me down to Derriford, luckily they managed to get me stable enough to fly me down, but I missed the whole journey, I don’t remember a thing!

I then spent the next four weeks in the Intensive Care Unit in a coma and my family were told to prepare for the worst….. but I wasn’t going anywhere, I fought back! After that I spent another 2 weeks in Derriford and then transferred to Exeter where I spent time in a stroke ward among others for another 2 weeks.

I have been home for a year now on my own, each day feeling a little better I still have problems and frustrations with my right hand, speech and understanding conversations sometimes. Lockdown hasn’t helped me feeling like an anxious hermit but I still look forward and not backward, my glass is always half full, positive not negative and my favourite words are Hope and Living!”