HAUNTED BY MY HEART!

TRANS­PLANT PA­TIENT FELT PRES­ENCE OF TRAGIC WAR HERO WHO SAVED HER

Solihull News - - NEWS - ALI­SON STACEY ali­son. stacey@ reach­plc. com

WHEN Sheron Wil­liamson’s heart stopped in hos­pi­tal, her daugh­ter watched her die.

Her mon­i­tor flat­lined. Sheron saw a glow­ing white light – but medics brought her back.

Four days later, she re­ceived a new heart from a soldier be­lieved to have died from in­juries sus­tained in the Iraq War.

Sheron’s life was saved – but she was haunted by the hero whose death was her sal­va­tion.

When she awoke from the op­er­a­tion, she started ex­pe­ri­enc­ing strange, un­ex­plained symp­toms.

She be­gan crav­ing beer – some­thing she hated – and could not shift the smell of damp woolly socks for more than a year.

The 50- year- old be­lieves those un­usual side- ef­fects were down to ‘ wear­ing some­body else’s heart’.

Sheron, who now lives in Soli­hull, told how she sud­denly be­came ill af­ter a run, and man­aged to get her­self to hos­pi­tal just in time.

“I started to feel un­well,” she re­called. “My legs were shak­ing, and I started to vomit. I took my­self to the Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal. I’d been there around six times pre­vi­ously, but they kept re­as­sur­ing me I was fit and healthy.

“On this par­tic­u­lar morn­ing it was dif­fer­ent.

“They told me I had just 12 days to live.”

Sheron was di­ag­nosed with gi­ant- cell my­ocardi­tis, a rare dis­or­der where the heart is in­flamed.

She was put on med­i­ca­tion and un­der­went two sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures. But sud­denly she suf­fered huge blood loss and car­diac ar­rest.

Sheron died in hos­pi­tal and was brought back to life by doc­tors.

“I was sit­ting in bed eat­ing my corn­flakes, when I felt some­thing wet on my side,” she says. “At first, I thought I had spilled the milk. Then, when I looked down, it was blood. There was so much that it had gone on the floor and run to­wards the door.

“I fell un­con­scious, and my heart mon­i­tor was flatlin­ing. That’s when I saw the light that ev­ery­body talks about.

“My heart had stopped. When I woke up, my daugh­ter told me that she had watched me die. It was so trau­matic for her.

“Af­ter that medics de­cided I needed a trans­plant.”

Sheron was put on the trans­plant list and mirac­u­lously, four days later on March 19, 2011, a heart was found and Sheron un­der­went trans­plant surgery.

“As a mother to a 14- year- old, I was distraught, our lives were turned up­side down,” she says. “But four days later, thanks to a donor, I woke up wear­ing a new heart.”

The gift of the donor fam­ily had saved Sheron’s life, mean­ing that she can now see her teenage daugh­ter grow up.

But al­most as soon as she had wo­ken up from the life- chang­ing op­er­a­tion the mum- of- one started ex­pe­ri­enc­ing strange symp­toms.

“There was a ru­mour that he was a soldier who had been flown back from Iraq to the QE Hos­pi­tal,” says Sheron. “When I woke up all I could smell was wet woolly socks. Ap­par­ently, I was scream­ing that I wanted a beer. It’s all I kept say­ing.

“Even­tu­ally, a mem­ber of my fam­ily was able to bring me a can of beer into the ward, and I just spat it out. Who knows, but per­haps it was be­cause I was wear­ing a soldier’s heart that I was get­ting his crav­ings.

“All I could smell was those socks for about a year, but thank­fully it’s faded now.”

Above, Sheron Wil­liamson is a pic­ture of health to­day and, left, all smiles with daugh­ter Sheroni

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