I was walking alongside my daughter Lucy, while she was riding a horse, when suddenly she screamed in pain and dropped into my arms, unconscious.
Her mother and I drove quickly with Lucy, aged nine, to the local hospital. It was a small hospital and they were not equipped to deal with the situation.
They sent us to Southampton Hospital by ambulance where a team was waiting for us. Lucy was still unconscious and the neurosurgeon told us, “Your daughter is very unwell; she has suffered a brain haemorrhage”.
Four and a half hours of surgery later, we were told that Lucy had a 50/50 chance of surviving. They moved her to a special care unit where she remained in a coma.
One day, after an agonising few weeks, Lucy woke up. She was immobile at the time but she was alive and we were so grateful to the team that saved her.
Now aged 35, Lucy has recovered remarkably and works as a veterinary nurse. She lives with some long term after-effects including epilepsy but we all know how lucky we are to have her with us.
Ever since the neuro team saved Lucy’s life, I wanted to give something back. I raised money for Southampton Hospital to purchase an MRI scanner but I wanted to do more. The chance arose to help set up a new charity dedicated to ensuring people with neurological problems get the support and information they need and so the Brain & Spine Foundation was born.
The team that saved Lucy’s life were amazing but they are time pressed. Having access to a helpline to ask questions and discuss options with a neuroscience nurse would have been fantastic. I am humbled to know that our charity is providing that understanding and comfort for people who need it and I want to ensure that work continues. That’s why I am pledging a gift in my Will to the Brain & Spine Foundation.