Today is a day to be thankful

About Jo | 1 comment

For those of you who don’t know, and those of you that do, today is the annual return! On 5th Feb 2004 my heroes saved my life at the QE hospital in Birmingham.

On 5th February 2004, I left for work as I did on any normal weekday, unaware how my life would take a dramatic turn.

Work had been stressful that day, I had dealt with difficult clients, had a thumping headache all day (nothing unusual) and had been racing around running somebody else’s business. I walked into the nursery’s kitchen to collect the afternoon tea for the children, something weird happened and I knew I didn’t feel well. I stumbled back into the room I was covering and shouted for help, I needed to go home. The pressure in my head was like when your ears ‘pop’, only this time my ears wouldn’t return to normal, and I had pink and purple kaleidoscope vision. My Parents arrived to take me home, wanting to take me for medical help, I was to poorly, I needed to be at home.

Mum called the GP, luckily and very unlike me I had breached confidentiality and mentioned to mum the previous day that one of the nursery parents had been diagnosed with meningitis. If mum hadn’t mentioned meningitis to the Doctor, I would have been diagnosed with a migraine gone to bed, unlikely to wake up. Instead, I was unconscious in an ambulance with blues and twos.

I had suffered an acute subarachnoid aneurysm. My parents were warned and prepared for the worst by the medics. I was about to have craniotomy surgery. Scans, operations and 52 staples later, I left critical care after 5 days and returned to work within 3 months!

According to all health professionals back in 2004 (17 years ago today) I should not have survived and definitely should not be living a normal life. During one of my follow-up appointments, I was told that only one third of people are lucky enough to be diagnosed, a third of those survive and a third of those go on to lead a normal life.

Jo after life-saving brain operationI am truly grateful to the health professionals at the QE for saving my life, to my family and friends for supporting me every inch of the way to recovery, and to Mum (and Dad) and Andy for remembering who I am.

As you can see, I don’t give in easily and determination is my kind of thing! Considering that I shouldn’t be living a ‘normal life,’ I don’t think I have done too badly. Since the day I knocked on death’s door, I have managed and regional managed a number of childcare settings, I was the Trust-wide childcare lead for the Gloucestershire NHS Trust, I have run a number of my own businesses, supported my hubby with his business, cared for Dad full time, and now Mum.

My hole in the head, metal clip in my brain and a tiny scar are all that remains, apart from on the rare occasion when those memories come flooding back!

Today’s advice, live your life – I was lucky enough to have a dress rehearsal. I kicked back!

DON’T put off today what you MIGHT be able to do tomorrow. I am lucky, I lead virtually a normal life, and this chapter of my book only gets opened to you once a year. I am a survivor, and so are you!

A huge thank you must go to our National Health Service (NHS) for saving my life and supporting my recovery,

Spiritual Awakenings are not about burning incense, seeing pretty lights, wings and feathers, nor sitting in meditation, doing yoga, or becoming a vegan, although this may be your spiritual practise. The truth and reality is an awakening, it’s uncomfortable, painful and may even be life threatening. When we experience this, we know that we haven’t chosen to live a spiritual life, we have been chosen – our job is to understand our role.

Make EVERY day, a day to remember.

Much love

1 Comment

  1. Wow, I’m lost for words, that’s a lot to have to go thru. Thank god you made it thru it all and yes you are a true survivor and now are hero and ANGEL. God bless you Jo.



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