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Anne Williamson

Anne Williamson
Survivor

My neighbour was concerned when he noticed my silhouette in the bathroom window had not moved in a couple of days. He alerted authorities. This was on 9th of Oct 2015.

I was taken to hospital in a coma. I had been sitting on the toilet for 2 days in a septic shock coma. All I know is what briefly been told by my sisters, that when I got to hospital, there was something going on with my heart. I was drowning but dehydrated. I would be lucky to survive.

I had grade 4 pressure sores from toilet seat that went necrotic. I was in a coma a further 8 days. They were finding it difficult to intubate me to put me on a ventilator and said last attempt, then a tracheostomy. Luckily they succeeded. It was touch and go about 3 times. Whilst in the coma I got very severe c diff infection from all the antibiotics. They had to make 3 attempts to get me off ventilator. I know from my hospital diary, I had 2 blood transfusions. They had difficulty with my temperature and had sponge baths and my blood pressure.

I remember coming to 1 day and a nurse saying I am in hospital with a urine infection, then nothing for a while. Then I remember a day wanting sweet hot white tea. I had loads. I normally drink weak black tea. Then I remember being in distress again with breathing and being put on ventilator again. Then I remember being in isolation because of c diff and I think they put a bag up my bottom for it but that’s a hazy recollection. I had to wait for a isolation bed to become available in HDU at my local hospital as I had been transferred to another hospital at the beginning.

I went back with a team of medics I didn’t know if I had any legs, how many or which way they were facing. I couldn’t feel them but they were hurting. I had developed neuropathy and bilateral palsy knees downwards.I don’t know how long I was on HDU but I got transferred to a side room on a ward, then on a ward, but an hour after being on ward, back to side room.

I was so depressed by this stage I curled up, curtains closed, lights off. I learned it was because consultant from neuro rehab was coming to see me to arrange being admitted. I went rehab but to a side room till bowel test came back clear. I remember asking nurse if will walk again. She just answered she doesn’t know. I cried like a baby. I was so weak, I couldn’t even stand. Gradually got strength back, walked little bits with aids. I spent about 2 months there, then sent home to a 1st floor flat with carers coming in 3 times a day for 6 weeks. I was weak as a kitten and house bound.

I regained some strength in my legs but new problems still keep arising 6 yrs later. Lymphedema, continuously getting cellulitis, the pressure sores still not healed. Most of 2016 was spent in and out of hospital with infections and cyst with tunnelling to the bone on left thigh. I had sepsis twice during these stays. I developed COPD and I already had diabetes type 2, now it is worse. I am still having health issues. I can only walk with a trolly indoors. I use electric wheelchair outdoors. I know I am very lucky to be alive and not to have lost any limbs, and staying upright on the toilet. lol  It is very lonely and isolating when living with chronic pain. You have to grieve for who you were and embrace who you are now.

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