On the 12th of November I received a phone call from my sister Annemarie whilst I was in London to tell me my mum was found by my other sister Jennifer at parkhead forge slurring her words, unsure of who she was and where she was...that whole day I had been trying to reach her because I spoke to her at 10:30am as she was boarding the bus to go back to the doctors in parkhead for the 3rd time in 5 days because she was still feeling sick and getting headaches, she had been told she needed new glasses on one of the visits to the doctor then on Monday the 12th she was told by the doctor the glasses must have been too strong so this was why she was at the forge to get the glasses readjusted again! She wouldn’t answer her phone and we were getting worried, Jennifer ended up getting her on the phone and she wasn’t making sense so she ran straight to the forge and found her sitting outside the cinema unaware of what was going on.
She took her straight to the royal infirmary hospital where they checked her and said she was actually ok (this type of stroke is a bugger and you can go up and down with it until it either fatally or near fatally clots!) Whilst I was rushing myself to the airport to get home to my mum she suffered a devastating brain stem stroke in the royal infirmary, this type of stroke left her with LIS most commonly known as locked in syndrome.
This has been likened to being buried alive! The brain is still there so you know what’s going on around you but you are totally paralysed and cannot move except in some cases only your eyes. The first night we were given a 20% chance of survival, the second night a 10% chance of survival and the third night we were still clinging onto a 10% chance of survival...nearly our whole family stayed at the hospital for that full 3 nights not just me and my sisters and my dad but my aunties and uncles and cousins all stayed because my mum means that much to all of them!
During these first 3 days as you can imagine we were getting the worst news thrown at us from the hospital staff to prepare us for every eventuality, we were researching everything we could find on this condition as until then none of us had even heard of it before all whilst we stayed by my mums bedside watching as her body twitched, spasmed and fought the hell it was going through!
We just knew that my mum could hear us though....call it intuition, call it vibes or call it mother daughter bonding if you like but looking into my mums eyes we just knew what we said was getting through.... we uttered the words “you fight from inside there ma and we will fight from outside here ma to help, just don’t give up keep fighting!”
I just knew on the Thursday day 4 we were going to turn a corner again, I just had that feeling that she was going to make it.
The thing about my mum is she’s a fighter, she has been her whole life... coming from the east end of Glasgow in the 1950s from a family of 12 you had to be. Thank god she is as that’s the reason she is still here with us now asking for your help. She is also a selfless,kind and caring woman who would have done anything for anybody. She has moved couches on Asda trolleys for neighbours who couldn’t afford a van, she has furnished a house for a family who came to the UK with not a penny but had a wee family to support, she took my gran in when she had cancer and nursed her round the clock with no help from anyone apart from us! This is the type of woman she is.
Back to her recovery (ha)
We got out of the danger zone after a week and we where moved to a stroke ward after 10 days. My mum could not move any part of her body apart from her eyes, this woman who had 3 wee jobs, watched her 2 grandkids Sienna and Nico and was never in.... you had to send a search party out to look for her, she was now completely paralysed apart from being able to blink once for yes and two for no how utterly devastating this was to her and to us but her mind was totally intact so she knew every single thing going on but her body was betraying her by not being able to move!
Just before Xmas 2018 we moved into PDRU in Glasgow this is the physically disabled rehabilitation unit in the hope that between us we could get some sort of movement back to my mum in any shape or form. ( I say we have moved in because that’s what happened...Myself and my 2 sisters have never left my mum since the minute it’s happened, we stay in a little camp bed at night by her bedside so we can get anything she needs at anytime of the night. During the day we have help from my mums twin brother Jeffrey and my aunties and cousins so she has one of us there 24hrs a day)
We had a rough 2 months there because my mum was in so much pain, then the painkillers were having an adverse reaction to her so it was only in March this year we managed to get this under control and start on her rehab.
I am ecstatic to tell you all that my mums head can now move to nod yes/no....she has had some movement to her right arm and a little to the right leg....we are practicing the alphabet and learning to form sounds so hopefully she will be able to speak again (my mum normally talks to everyone so we know this is the one thing if she had to choose to get back she would want this first)
She has a wicked sense of humour and manages to have the staff all laughing even without any words.
Everyday we as a family work on her speech, massaging her legs and arms and try to keep her spirits up whilst we await a bed becoming available at Murdiston castle this is a neuro brain rehabilitations unit. The prognosis is something that no one knows with a brain stem stroke you can get no movement back whatsoever or you can make a near full recovery.
We have been advised that my mums was so severe that we are incredibly lucky to have what we have at the moment but we live in hope and pray everyday that she gains that little bit more movement in her speech and in her body.
The reason for asking you all for your help is when we do finally get my mum home her house needs to have a wee extension added to the side which will have her bedroom and her bathroom. The council have turned down the application for this unless we contribute £42,000. The councils total cost is £82,000! This is an unjustified amount of money we think for a basic extension with 1 wee bedroom and bathroom.
We have got a quote from a private builder who is willing to do the whole extension inside and out for £26,000 , so that is the amount we are trying to raise to give my mum a wee bit of a normal home life back.
I want to say thank you so so much from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity, regardless of the amount you give every single penny helps.
My mums saying thank you to all of you too ❤️
This type of stroke doesn’t discriminate and can happen at any time to anyone so please live your lives to the fullest and don’t put off for tomorrow something you would love to do today.
Bestest wishes Amanda and all of Jennifer's recovery crew x
- Valerie McTurk
- Susan mccready
- Jacqui Kiel
- Grant Blaney
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