A man who spent months in a coma battling a life-threatening brain disease which struck while he was on holiday in Greece is holding a fundraiser to thank the medics who saved him.
Daniel Carroll, aged 53, from Sothall, was enjoying a break in Crete with wife Marie, 49, when he developed a rare condition called anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, which usually affects women.
Doctors on the Greek island initially thought Daniel was suffering from a psychotic illness, as he was agitated and experiencing seizures, but once he was airlifted to the mainland and brought to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, doctors were able to make a proper diagnosis.
The charity event is at Beighton Miners’ Welfare next month, in aid of the Sheffield Hospitals Charity.
Marie, a nurse, said: “It’s a miracle that he’s here. At times I didn’t think he was going to pull through. We just want to raise as much as we possibly can.”
Daniel, a joiner, said he felt unwell with a sore throat before travelling to Rethymnon in Crete but his GP told him he was fit to fly out last December.
“On the second day I had to go to the local doctors in the resort, where they gave me antibiotics and told me to come back on the Tuesday,” he said.
But soon afterwards Daniel collapsed and was rushed to the nearest hospital.
“We had six days of hell in the hospital in Crete,” said Marie.
“They were telling him that he was psychotic, but I said I wasn’t happy. I kept saying they should do a lumbar puncture, and eventually I just asked them to get him out of the hospital. He was flown in a private helicopter to Athens and then blue-lighted to the Hallamshire.”
Doctors in Sheffield discovered Daniel had anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, where the brain becomes inflamed because of a sudden reaction in the body’s immune system.
He was kept in the high dependency unit and then spent time on the neuro-critical care ward, before starting rehabilitation in May.
Marie added: “They told me not to give up but I thought he wasn’t going to make it. It was very rare
“He still has a long way to go in terms of his recovery, but we just want to say thank you to the hospital staff, because they were brilliant.”
n Daniel’s event– called Stars On The Wards – takes place on Thursday, September 12, from 7.30pm to 11.30pm, featuring live music, a charity auction and disco. Tickets cost £10 including a pie and pea supper. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.