Chesterfield woman was locked in her own body for 9 months

100 times better: Pauline Quinn suffered a type of stroke
100 times better: Pauline Quinn suffered a type of stroke
Have your say

A WOMAN has spoken of her miracle recovery after a sudden bleed on the brain left her ‘locked’ inside her own body – for nine months.

Pauline Quinn, aged 49, could not walk, talk or communicate other than using her eyes – and underwent three major operations – after suffering a type of stroke caused by bleeding in the brain.

Her distraught family never expected her to recover fully after months with little improvement, and had even begun looking for residential homes with special equipment.

But when a shunt was tried, placed in Pauline’s body to drain brain fluid and relieve the pressure in her skull, it had such a dramatic effect that she was up and talking just three days later.

The former Sheffield hotel worker said: “It is a miracle I am still here.

“When I first spoke in hospital I asked my sister ‘what the hell happened to me? Have I been here two or three weeks?’

“She took the biggest gulp and said ‘I’m sorry Pauline, you’ve been here nine months’.

“I couldn’t believe it had happened to me.”

Pauline’s sudden subarachnoid brain haemorrhage was caused by a ruptured aneurysm, a bulge in a blood vessel.

She had begun to feel unwell the night before, vomiting and staggering, and could not get up the next day.

Her time in hospital passed in a blur of disorientation, months she describes as being in a ‘black tunnel’ or ‘on my own planet’.

Even consultant neurosurgeon Umang Patel did not expect her to make such a dramatic improvement from the shunt and was cautious about her future prognosis.

Her sister Janiece Wallace, from Killamarsh, who had found Pauline unresponsive at her home, said: “Pauline’s recovery is the most amazing thing ever.

“It is a second life and she now just loves every minute of the day.

“She’s still recovering, but she is 100 times better than we ever expected.”

Pauline, formerly of Killamarsh and now living in Chesterfield, has written an online blog about her experiences to raise awareness of brain injury.

She is also taking part in Sheffield charity Neurocare’s 5km fundraising run in April to raise cash for lifesaving neurosurgical equipment at the city’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and is supported by Derbyshire head injury charity Headway.

She said: “I have to make the most of every day.

“I will do what I can to help everybody else because it is a terrible place to be, locked in your own body.”

To read Pauline’s blog, visit