Portrait: Sophie's Dad
We want to share Sophie and her dad’s story, whose lives were completely transformed when Sophie’s dad suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage, an uncommon type of stroke which is caused by bleeding on the brain’s surface and typically has no warning signs.
In this powerful story, you’ll read about Sophie’s dad’s fighting spirit throughout it all which continues to this day, as well as the journey they’ve been on together and the hope they share for the future.
The call that changed it all
On the 31st October 2022, my dad suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage, caused by an aneurysm bursting. I received a call that evening from my dad's phone, and expecting to hear his voice I answered, 'Hi Dad!' but instead it was his friend saying that Dad had collapsed and that the ambulance was on its way. The ambulance arrived in less than 20 minutes, and he was then rushed to hospital where he was put into an induced coma. I am forever thankful that his friend was there and that the ambulance got there so quickly.
Arriving at the hospital and being in shock
I arrived at the hospital and was told what had happened, I remember being in utter shock, this is a man who is hardly ever ill! The doctor told me that the bleed was very severe and there was an 80% chance he would not survive.
“My brother and I had to say our goodbyes.”
Dad was then rushed to Salford Royal Hospital where there was a surgeon waiting at the door. They worked on him for around 4 hours whilst we waited. At half past 3 in the morning, the surgeon came out and told us that the operation went well. I remember looking at this surgeon with blood on his scrubs and thinking what an incredible man he was, he just saved my dad's life! A week or so after, Dad was showing signs of improvement, even putting his thumbs up! But unfortunately, like one of the possible complications with subarachnoid haemorrhages,, he suffered another stroke and returned to a vegetative state.
My dad’s fighting spirit was there throughout it all and continues to this day
I was told by the consultant that they did not think he would wake up. This was not the case and a couple of months later, in true Dad style, he kept fighting and regained consciousness. Fast forward to today nearly a year on, he remains as an inpatient in hospital; he is able to speak and do certain tasks but he is unable to walk. He is being trialed for a spinal injection to see if this can help with the spasticity in his legs. He is nowhere near as independent or as chatty as he was, but I hope that with the correct rehabilitation, this will come in time.
“One thing that makes my dad who he is, is his witty sense of humour and sarcastic jokes. This has stayed and I am grateful for that.”
What I have learnt from this journey
The biggest things I have learnt from this journey are to never take anything for granted and remember just how important your health is. Although you may never expect that anything like this could happen, it does and it can happen to anyone, so love those around you, enjoy the precious time with them and check in if things don’t feel right. Without the surgeons, the NHS staff and charities, Dad and I would be lost. I hope that time continues to heal and that one day, Dad can write his story.
As echoed in Sophie’s words, despite her dad’s sudden brain injury, he still didn’t lose his witty sense of humour or fighting spirit throughout it all.
At SameYou, part of our mission is to help survivors know that they haven’t lost the person that they were before their brain injury. Will you join us today to help us fulfill our mission and make changes for the better?