Louise's Story -
As told by Leanne and Nicole, her Daughters
This is Louise - 55 years old wife, mother, grandmother, sister and auntie. She is now currently living in a Nursing home as she requires 24hour care after suffering a major stroke during surgery.
In 2020 Louise suffered a seizure at home whilst sat watching tv, she was taken to hospital where tests and scans were done. After having the scans the doctors found two shadows on her brain. After more tests and scans we were told the shadows were benign tumours and these just needed to be monitored once a year to ensure they were not growing or changing as they were causing no harm and it was unsure how long they had been there for. Louise was diagnosed with possible epilepsy and put on a low dose of medication to ensure another seizure didn’t happen.
Late 2021 Louise started to have silent seizures to which Louise was unaware but us as a family could see what was happening, she called her consultant and told him what was happening and he requested anther scan and to up her epilepsy medication to which this seemed to stop the symptoms but he told us that removing the tumours will make it clear if it is these causing the epilepsy or not. After a lot of thinking Louise decided to go ahead with the operation as we were told it would be straight forward and a maximum 4 day hospital stay.
When the hell started!
On the 5th of January 2022 Louise went to Leeds General Infirmary to undergo her operation, she had already gone the night before for an MRI scan to ensure everything was still the same and safe to go ahead.
After receiving a call to say she had gone down to theatre at 9:15am we was told to call after lunch to see which ward she was on, 12oclock hit and she was still in surgery, at this time we was unaware how long these things take and was not worried, leaving it a few more hours we called again and no one could give an answer to where she was and what was going on? We called around 6 then 8 and still had no answers by this time we are thinking what is happening, at 11pm we then got a call from the consultant who said he has come out of the operating room but was going back to continue, at this time he told us that through the operation when removing one of the tumours he had come into complications as it seemed to be wrapped around blood vessels, he told us that he had had to call anther specialist to help him through the operation. He said he was going to keep her in a coma for her brain to rest and recover as it had reacted to the operation and there was a large amount of swelling resulting in them having to remove the right side of the skull and he would call us in the morning with an update.
The next day after having tests we were told it would appear that throughout the operation Louise had suffered a stroke but as she was still asleep they wouldn’t know how much it has effected her, they allowed her to rest for 3 days and then started to try bring her round but every time they tried to take Louise of the medications she would go down hill and it was not possible to bring her round!
After a week in a coma she was still having scans to see the effects in the brain and this is when we were told she had 48hours to live, this was one of the most heartbreaking and hardest thing any of us had to hear. The consultant then called us after the 48 hours to say he wanted to give her more time and decided to fit a Tracheotomy and continued with brain scans daily, Louise was in her coma for 7 weeks in all and in this time she had numerous operations scans and tests. Throughout all this time under covid rules no one was able to visit and we hadn’t seen Louise since the morning she went into Leeds for her operation.
Finally we got the news that Louise had started to open her eyes and squeeze the doctors hands when they were talking to her. From here it’s been a long road, it had appeared that the stroke had effected the left side and Louise is unable to move or have any feeling down her full left side starting from her eye sight to her toes, louise got moved to Dewsbury rehab hospital and over the next fews months there was intense speech therapy, physio therapy, learning to eat and trying to get Louise’s memory back.
Louise has come a long way from where she was when she first came out of the coma but still has a lot of life changing injuries Louise will never walk or have feeling down the left side again, her cognition is not what it used to be and still does get confused where she is. Louise got moved to Kenmore nursing home where she has 24 hour care and has been there since July. In this time she has gone under anther operation to replace the skull that they had to remove in the first operation due to the swelling, this operation has gone to plan and she is recovering well.
This has not only been life changing for Louise but for all of us as a family too, it has been 14 months since it happened and Louise only received a wheelchair this month to be able to get her out and about but due to not having any transport we still can not get Louise home for the day or out for the day with the family. Having a vehicle that Louise can be pushed straight into whilst she’s in her wheelchair will be life changing for her to get out and normal days out with the family but for us to as a family to be able to spend quality time all together once again.
So ... The Pennine Bridleway?
Both Harry and myself are keen cyclists. We enjoyed every minute of Peddars way with Legacy last year and we felt we really wanted to help Leanne, Nicole and Rick (Louise's Husband) in any way possible.
Last year we raised over £1500 for YANA, Rural Mental Health, and wouldn't it be amazing to raise as much, or even more to help my amazing Auntie?
The challenge is going to be epic, physically, emotionally and mentally. But with the support of my whole family and all of you behind us I know we will have an incredible time. It doesn't matter how hard we are finding it, that really is immeasurable in comparison to what Louise, Rick, Leanne and Nicole have been through over the past 14 months.
We chose the Pennine Bridleway because although we live here in Suffolk, Louise and Rick, Nicole and her family and Leanne and her family have all always lived up near Halifax. My Mum's parents lived in Hipperholme near Halifax, as a child we would go out to the Pennines and go for walks or to my Dad's 'Favourite Pub'. A stop we have included in our trip plan itinerary - not only to rest our legs and bums but to have a well earned lunch break.
The route plan ...
Day One - Kikby Stephen to GIggleswick - 40 miles
Day Two - Giggleswick to Trawden - 30 miles
Day Three - Trawden to Diggle - 30 miles
Day Four - Diggle to Castleton - 30 miles
All that is left to say is, thank you all so so much for your support and we can't wait to see how much we can raise to help get the whole family mobile again,
Bethany and Harry