Trish, 69, suffered a life-threatening brain haemorrhage in March 2019 which left her unable to walk or talk and affected her short term memory. After a long stay in hospital and numerous operations Trish was discharged home, but in November 2020 she was hospitalised again after a fall. Now undergoing rehabilitation at Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre The Chantry, Trish is making steady progress under the team’s expert care.
“It was very touch and go for quite a while”
Trish and Chris, her husband of 35 years, had recently returned from a trip to Spain in their motor home when she was taken ill. An air ambulance was called when Chris found his wife unconscious on the floor one evening and she was rushed to Ipswich Hospital. Although it was initially thought Trish wouldn’t survive, she pulled through and was transferred to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge the following day.
Chris said: “It was very touch and go for quite a while and she ended up having at least 12 different operations.”
Trish, a mother of two, was fitted with platinum coils in the frontal lobe at Addenbrookes. She was discharged and returned to Ipswich Hospital, but a further setback saw her return to Addenbrookes for more treatment. She was eventually able to go to a rehabilitation centre for people with brain injuries where she spent several months.
Chris said: “After that, she came home and we looked after her there. She was walking and talking again, but in November last year she had a fall which caused another blood clot and she went back into Ipswich and then Addenbrookes.”
Trish pulled through again and was sent for further rehabilitation. When that came to an end Chris managed to get her a place at Sue Ryder The Chantry, however the rehabilitation is only part-funded by the local Clinical Commissioning Group so Trish’s family is currently making up the difference.
He said: “Trish went to The Chantry at the end of April and they have made huge progress since she has been there. At the moment she is in a wheelchair, but she has managed a couple of times to walk with a frame with two assistants. Her short term memory is not good, but she can remember things going back a long way. The Chantry is making a remarkable difference.
“Trish and I used to run a company together. We retired four or five years ago, but you just never know what’s around the corner. They can’t explain why these things happen. I’m lucky that my daughter is working at home at the moment and my son works locally around East Anglia, so I am getting really good family support.”
“We cannot thank Sue Ryder enough for what they have done”
Chris’s sister Ann, a former nurse, has also been supporting the family throughout Trish’s illness.
She said: “Trish has been through hell and high water so we were thrilled when Sue Ryder said they felt they could help her. We had a goal-setting meeting with The Chantry on Zoom and I couldn’t believe it when I saw that Trish was there too – I nearly cried. The team just said, Trish is the most important person at this meeting, and that’s what you want to hear.
“I don’t believe in miracles but they are certainly working a miracle there. I have been a couple of times to see her since I have been allowed to go. We have taken her out in the garden in her wheelchair and she was talking to us and looking through photographs. I don’t know how they do it there, but it’s really quite incredible the progress she has made.
“With post traumatic head injury there is often a fatigue which The Chantry are managing really well. Trish is having speech and language therapy and physio and she can walk a few steps again with help. They are also organising an electric wheelchair so that she can get from her room to the lift. We cannot thank Sue Ryder enough for what they have done. It’s worth every single penny and we can’t believe the difference.”
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