I recently was out to lunch with my girlfriend in London and was taken suddenly ill, as my body went into Septic Shock. This horrible illness dropped me to my knees in about an hour (yes, that quickly). My girlfriend astutely rushed me to St. Thomas’s hospital who transferred me to Intensive Care at Guys hospital, London. The doctors there worked for 3 hours to save my life before they got me stabilized as best they could on life support. My family was told to prepare for the worst and I remained in a coma for almost two weeks.
I stayed in the hospital for several weeks and have had a few subsequent visits, however pretty much, the rest is history. When I first recovered, I could not talk, walk or function for myself, the staff at Guys were nothing short of AMAZING, I owe my life to them. The nurses in Intensive Care were attentive, caring, patient, knowledgeable and the way they dealt with my family and friends at this difficult time was breathtakingly compassionate.
I cannot tell you how THRILLED I was to see our amazing NHS system honored in the opening ceremony of the Olympics as I am now an NHS raving fan and cannot praise it enough. I have in the past spent a lot of time in America and am convinced that if this had happened there I would not have survived. The ONLY question on the lips of the doctors and nurses at Guys was “How do we save this ladies life?” NOT “Who is paying the bill”.
I had volunteered and been chosen over two years ago as a Gamesmaker for the Olympics. I overheard it being discussed in the hospital what a shame it was that I would not now be able to support my country in this way. Although at the time, I could not talk or really communicate, I remember thinking to myself “Yeh, we’ll see about that”. I had gone to the torch handover concert at Buckingham Palace 4 years ago when Michael Phelps handed over the torch to us and was so looking forward to being a part of it all. The goal of still being able to volunteer for the Olympics spurred me on to heal quickly… and heal quickly I did.
I’m now almost completely healed, I am one of the lucky ones that still has all my hands and feet, I cannot tell you how blessed I feel. I was able to attend the Olympics and even had my picture taken with David Cameron when he came to visit the Gamesmakers – although he had no idea of my story and journey to get to be well enough to be there!