WHEN healthy keen walker Pauline Quinn was hit by a stroke out of the blue, it turned her life upside down.
She went from being a busy hotel worker, who loved making her own jewellery and learning new languages, to being trapped inside her own body in a hospital bed, barely able to communicate.
Pauline, aged 49, suddenly felt ill after returning home from work one day to her sister Janiece’s home in Killamarsh.
She said: “I got up to go to the toilet and I was staggering about like a drunk woman.
“The next day, everybody thought I’d gone to work. Nobody knew I was just lying there.
“Janiece got a call from The Mercure hotel where I worked and she rushed home.
“I couldn’t say anything, I was very disorientated. I couldn’t understand what was happening.
“It was like being on my own planet – after that I was gone.”
That was the start of Pauline’s long nine months in hospital.
Consultant neurosurgeon Umang Patel, who has worked at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital for 10 years, oversaw Pauline’s treatment.
Her first two operations saved her life, clipped the aneurysm, and removed a blood clot.
But it was not until after a cranioplasty – a procedure to put a plate in Pauline’s skull, and drain some brain fluid – that she spoke for just one day.
That brief glimmer of hope was enough to convince Mr Patel and Pauline’s family that a shunt to drain more fluid from her brain might help.
Mr Patel told The Star: “My dilemma was thinking, was draining the fluid the thing that made her speak?
“Putting a shunt in was another operation and that would put her at risk.
“But I listened to her sister about her talking for one day and I thought it was worth a chance.
“Even I was really cautious and I was trying to say to her sister that she might have to come to terms with something, but at the same time I was not prepared to give up.
“I think it was unusual, because I never expected such a dramatic recovery.
“We are all so delighted for Pauline.”
Now Pauline, who is encouraging others to walk the Neurocare Head Start event, has hailed Mr Patel her ‘hero’.
She said: “He’s a god for what he’s done. There must be so many people out there that can’t thank him enough.”
The Head Start event, at Rother Valley Country Park on Sunday, April 21, costs £10 to enter the 5k run and £13.50 to enter the 10k.
Visit www.neurocare.org.uk to apply.