A DAD is lucky to be alive after he was struck down by a massive bleed on the brain while lying in bed.
Nick Fletcher, aged 45, is now recovering at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital after a seven-hour procedure to save his life.
He told The Star: “I don’t like to think of it in this way, but my life was definitely on the line.”
His partner Joanne Roe, who he has two young children with, added: “He would not be here if it wasn’t for the amazing staff at the Hallamshire. He could have died.
“What the surgeons did was incredible.”
Nick, a store manager for Wickes, was hit by a blinding headache while lying in bed at his home in Unstone, Dronfield, last Tuesday.
“I just rolled over in bed and felt this pain in my head,” he said.
“We have absolutely no idea what caused it. It could have been just turning over, we don’t know.”
Joanne, 42, a childminder, added: “There was no warning. I thought he was just being dramatic – but he kept saying he didn’t feel right.”
A paramedic initially diagnosed a migraine but Nick was taken to hospital because of worries about his blood pressure.
Once he was at Chesterfield Royal Hospital a scan showed a large mass in his head and he was rushed to the Hallamshire.
After a day of tests, on Thursday a team led by consultant neurosurgeon Umang Patel operated to stop the bleed.
Joanne said: “It was really lucky we got him to hospital early. The doctors said you usually only discover someone has a large aneurism like this if someone has a stroke – or if they have already died.”
Where possible, surgeons try to treat aneurisms by embolising the bleed through the veins – sending a tube up the blood channels all the way from the groin into the head and cutting off the bleed.
“They couldn’t do it that way because the aneurism was starting to calcify, it had gone solid,” said Joanne.
“They had to cut into his skull and clamp off the blood supply that way.
“Now he is doing fine – and given the way he was a few days ago, we can’t believe how well he is now.”
Joanne and Nick have already pledged to give something back and are planning to raise funds for Sheffield charity Neurocare, which supplies equipment to the Hallamshire’s neurosurgery department.