Providing practical and emotional
support for all people affected
by brain haemorrhage

      Leon's Story


      I am a 48-year-old adopted male who has been married for 25 years come the 9th May 2012.  I have two sons; one is 20 and is doing a Microsoft IT Apprenticeship and the other is nearly 18 years old studying music at college.  He plays in his own band called Caged Spectrum.

      I was working on Saturday 7th April.  My boss asked if I could do extra hours to paint the car workshop.  So there I was, busy painting away as it was a large workshop and we ran out of paint.  So I went to my boss and got some petty cash then jumped in the truck and headed to the paint shop to get concrete floor paint.

      I parked up, went into the store, got the paint and went to the desk to pay… only I had a thunderclap headache like nothing I have had before right across the left side of my skull. With that I then passed out and vomited.  Thinking back now I wonder how lucky I am.  The great man above must have been watching over me because had this happened 5 minutes earlier, I would have been driving down the dual carriageway at 60mph and certainly would not be here now to write this.

      So I come around at the hospital and because I had epileptic fits as a child they put it down to this and sent me home the following day to bed rest.   But that night at home in bed I took another turn for the worse and felt very giddy and not with it at all.  So my wonderful wife called the out of hours GP who came out and called an ambulance.

      Back in hospital, this time they gave me a lumber puncture to test for meningitis but that came back as negative.  So they sent me over for an MRI scan; this time it was bingo and a burst aneurysm was found on my middle cerebral artery.

      Now at this point the hospital I was at did not do Neurological Operations.  I was transferred from Portsmouth to Southampton where the nearest centre was.  Remember this was April 1990 and no coiling was available here in the UK as it did not come here from America until early 1992.  So I only had one option which was to open my skull and clip the bleed.

      Although I put on a brave face, deep inside I was bricking it!  I was thinking all manner of things like ‘..will I survive?’, .. ‘will I lead a normal life?’, .. ‘will my wife still want me?’, .. ‘will I still be able have children?”  Man so many things were rushing through my head.

      Anyway, I went down for the operation and all I can remember is being wheeled down and a beautiful nurse talking to me for reassurance then putting me under.

      I woke up 8 weeks later in ICU.   I had been in induced coma to rest my head and to reduce the swelling only to find my wife beside me.  That I can tell you now was a wonderful feeling.

      I was in ICU for 3 weeks then transferred to a regular ward for a further 3 weeks before being ambulanced back to the Portsmouth Hospital where I started this journey.  However the driver tried to help me out of the back of the ambulance, but no, I wanted to get out my self. What a fool I was!  I went flat over on my face due to losing my balance.  lol.

      Anyway that was ‘Part One’.   I will do ‘Part Two’ tomorrow about my recovery back to fitness and how I have coped these past 21 yrs.

      Leon Carter