Karen shares Yvie’s story…
Five years ago Yvonne had a burst aneurysm that caused massive brain damage. She is here today due to the skill of the neurological surgeon that worked hard to save her. Well that’s a brief history.
We have gone from strength to strength with putting our lives back together piece by piece. Along the way we have had magnificent support from family and friends; and of course some true professionals.
This has not always been a smooth path back. In the early days, it is true to say, we often didn’t know where the path was going, but we never lost hope. When Yvonne was in hospital we were travelling back and forth and nobody could tell us what the outcome might be for recovery. We sat at her bed side talking, massaging and playing her favourite music not knowing whether she could hear us or not. Everyone is told that people in comas can hear you, so you pass the messages of love and hope on day after day. You recount stories of past times, some sad, others funny, in the expectation that she is taking it all on board, that her brain is working overtime to get better, to heal and to be who she was once again.
On a bright sunny day in August we were moving Yvonne nearer to home, so we could spend more time with her and less travelling. She was to come to Taunton intensive care still in her coma. The week prior to this we had been told it was likely Yvonne would stay in a persistent vegetative state, so we should plan for long term nursing care in a residential setting. We were horrified at the expectation of Yvonne not coming home to her family, her children and to me, her wife, who loved and adored her, till death do us part and all of that.
On the journey home Yvonne opened her eyes for the first time in months. I could see a spark of her in those eyes and knew hope had not gone; that she was waiting for me to help her bloom again. Sentimental I know, but trust me it’s how you feel, an overwhelming sense of survival and emotion to think Yvonne is here again.
After a year in hospital, that’s another story, she had improved enough to come home at last!
What excitement we all felt, planning for the wondrous day she would be back within the home and family. We would however need 24/7 care and support. This is when Notaro Live in Care entered our lives, working alongside our private Live in Carer, Pewie.
Although Yvonne is now unable to move her arms and legs and unable to form words, she can still communicate in her own way and is not slow at letting us all know when she needs something. The full time Live in Care we receive enables us to have our life back, albeit different now.
The Live in Carers have become members of our family, coming everywhere with us; to concerts in and outdoors; holidays in lovely hotels or staying with relatives. We live life to the full, although we are not saying that life is all fun, but there needs to be a balance between acknowledging what has happened, how huge the impact of it is going to be and how you can still plan for the future together; knowing the support is there to help fulfill our hopes and dreams. Yvonne has a smile for people every day and usually finds something that makes her laugh out loud. So a great big thank you to all those that help make our life positive once again.
Written by Karen Attwell