"The Downs and Ups of Brain Surgery"

About: Royal Hallamshire Hospital / Neurology

(as the patient),

In May of last year I had surgery to cure me of Epilepsy.

Unfortunately during the operation, there was an accident which lead to a bleed giving me a stroke. I was in the high dependence on Ward N1, and I was ventilated and in a bad state. I was not absorbing the drugs they were giving me.

I remember seeing my consultant at the window and I remember sticking up my thumb to him.

I was then taken off the ventilator and I had a grommet inserted. I vaguely remember moving slowly through the bays towards the Ward main doors, so I knew I was slowly getting better.

I was then moved onto Ward N2 in the bottom bay and the process of moving down the bays towards the ward main doors. I remember one day when a nurse was sat near me and drinking a coffee I said to her “I’d kill for one of those” so she called for a doctor to take the grommet from my throat. The same nurse brought me a coffee later – and it was heaven.

The stroke had left me in a wheelchair and barely able to walk. But I slowly moved through the bays. But I felt that I needed to be somewhere I could recover and work on my walking and speech.

The staff were brilliant and understood my needs and they were amazing, they managed to find a place where I could do this. Nurse Pierce, the surgery nurse was amazing, and showed constant support. The one conversation I had with her was when I was being wheeled off the ward to go get the taxi to go to the respite unit, was she asked if I’ll be ok, and my answer with absolute determination “I won’t let this me beat me”

I was in N1 and N2 for about 3 weeks.

During my time in the respite centre my ability to walk returned and my speech also started to return, although I needed the occasional support of a speech therapist.

I remember the follow appointment I had with my consultant, Nurse Peirce was also there. And I marched into the appointment with my head held high, and be able to do that felt so amazing. I think both were surprised. They told me “they were not sure what to expect”. My consultant explained to me what had happened during the operation, and there was a sincere regret in his voice. As I left the office I remember turning to Nurse Peirce and saying “I told you I wouldn’t let it beat me” and she smiled and said “you certainly did”

The surgery hasn’t completely stopped the seizures, they are way less regular than they were before the operation. Even for this I am grateful as they now longer have such a big impact on my life.

For this I would offer my most sincere thank you to my consultant, for the life changing surgery, and to all the staff on Wards N1 and N2 who cared for me, the nurse got me that Coffee, and the nurse who took me to the respite centre, not that I wish to belittle the work of all the other staff, far from it.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››