At death’s door – three months later I was a model!

I’d con­vinced my­self that my life was over

Chat - - CONTENTS -

Deb­bie Greener, 48, Peter­lee, County Durham

We’d started with a stack of planks and some in­struc­tions that may as well have been writ­ten in Chi­nese.

Now, a few hours later, I was look­ing at my mag­nif­i­cent new bed.

‘We de­serve a brew,’ I groaned to my then-part­ner, An­drew, 50.

It was Fe­bru­ary 2011 and we’d been build­ing the flat­pack all morn­ing.

‘Thanks for help­ing,’ I told An­drew.

Only, as I got up, I heard a loud pop inside my head, fol­lowed by an in­tense pain. What on Earth..? Has the flat­pack bro­ken my brain?!

As I looked at An­drew, I could see his lips mov­ing and hear sounds com­ing out of his mouth, but none of it seemed to make sense.

It was like watching a badly dubbed movie.

I don’t re­mem­ber the jour­ney to Hartle­pool hos­pi­tal, but An­drew must’ve di­alled 999. By the time I’d ar­rived, the left side of my face had drooped.

An emer­gency brain scan con­firmed I’d suf­fered a brain haem­or­rhage, caused by an aneurysm

– a bulging in one of the blood ves­sels in my brain.

I was blue­lighted to James Cook Uni­ver­sity, into surgery to close off the aneurysm, and when I woke up 48 hours later, I saw my son Harry, then 10, and An­drew.

‘We didn’t know if you were go­ing to make it, Mum,’ Harry cried.

I felt aw­ful for putting him through such a trauma. He’d been born blind – and, as a sin­gle mum, I was his sole carer.

My left side was paral­ysed be­cause of the stroke. My brain had suf­fered dam­age.

I was left with epilepsy, my mem­ory was im­paired, and I’d lost the pe­riph­eral vi­sion on my left side.

I was fi­nally dis­charged three months later, and worked hard on my re­hab.

But my life had changed dras­ti­cally.

I took long-term sick leave from work in or­der to get bet­ter. And, with physio, I be­gan re­gain­ing move­ment.

But the dam­age to my brain left me frus­trated.

I’d for­get sim­ple things – what day it was, plans I’d made just hours ear­lier.

Sadly, me and An­drew split in May 2012, then

I was made re­dun­dant. I’ve been through worse than this, I thought. I started a col­lege course, study­ing Psy­chol­ogy, and con­tin­ued with my physio. I got a guide dog in 2014 and tried my best to claw back my in­de­pen­dence.

I met a new part­ner, Michael, in June 2017, and started to feel like me again.

Then, in July 2018, I woke up in the mid­dle of the night, vom­it­ing vi­o­lently. Mo­ments later, I started seiz­ing, brought on by my epilepsy.

Luck­ily, Harry, 17, was asleep when Michael called the am­bu­lance, and I was rushed to hos­pi­tal.

Doc­tors put a tube in my throat to help me breathe.

Once again, Harry was called to my bed­side, told I might not make it. Again, I sur­vived.

Yet when I even­tu­ally felt well enough to sit up in bed, I felt that same de­spair I’d had all those years ago.

Could I fight back again?

You should SEE ME NOW

I was paral­ysed, brain­dam­aged, frus­trated

Af­ter my seizure in July 2018

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.