My Brain Aneurysm experience

The 1st of April, 2010, is a day that my family and close friends will never, ever forget. And if they do, I know it will certainly not be a day that my best friends, my hubby Aaron, will never forget. On Thursday, the first of April 2010, around 8:30am (I was working from home) I had a conference call with some of my work colleagues, including my manager.

I was contributing to the meeting. I remember feeling tired and deciding to lie down on the floor in our bedroom, still contributing to the meeting. My hubby was downstairs and at some point he came upstairs to let me know that he was going out - which I acknowledged. At this point, I lose recollection of events as it turned out that I became unconscious. The rest of the testimony is actually based on what my husband and work colleagues said.

At some point during my conference call, I fell unconscious, not the unconscious, that you and I are used to. My eyes were still open. I could move. I was speaking but speaking words that could not be understood. It was incoherent and it was enough to alarm my colleagues causing them to take quite radical action. My slurred and incomprehensible comments led my manager to call the ambulance and the police. This is where the intervention and hand of God starts to work.

You see, I'm a contractor, which means that none of my colleagues on this project have my home address. They had to find information from the main company I was contracting for to get to my personal accountant to get my home address. What made them do all that? Why wouldn't they have just dismissed it as a bad line or something equally harmless, but my God's good. God had a plan for my life and has a plan for my life. And he will move the hearts of kings or lay men to get to his beloved.

It wasn’t till about two o'clock in the afternoon that my colleagues found out my address. They called the police and ambulance and explained something worthy enough to motivate them to come and check out the situation. When Aaron arrived home, he found the police and ambulance in front of our house attempting to gain access. Aaron ran from the car into the house and upstairs to where he had left me.

He found me in exactly the same situation that I was in when he left lying on the floor. Phone still connected and laptop on. Except I wasn't moving. The ambulance crew rushed upstairs and were confused. Aaron had sat me on our beds and I appeared okay. I was sitting up. My eyes were open and I could move. However, I was apparently not talking at all. Aaron was talking to me, but I was not responding. I was looking at him as he was talking, but appeared to be looking through him. The ambulance crew ran some tests and the results indicated that everything was normal and that everything was perfect with me. They actually then searched the house to see if I had taken any drugs that could explain my status. When they found none, they then decided that Aaron and I must have been having marital issues and that I was just sulking and refusing to talk to him. With this assumption made, the ambulance crew left the room to give Aaron and I some privacy so that we could talk.

I continue to stare at Aaron still saying nothing as nothing was making me respond. The ambulance crew finally strapped me to a chair and carried me into the ambulance. But before the ambulance could leave, Aaron called his mom and Pastor Carol and the prayer chain for me started. I arrived at Queen Elizabeth's Hospital in Welwyn Garden City at around 2:30 in the afternoon. A series of tests were conducted, but it wasn't until six o'clock in the evening that a brain scan was performed.

It was this test that finally provided insight into exactly what the problem was. The brain scan showed that I was suffering a brain bleed. A vein had burst and was leaking blood into my brain. At this point, the hospital realized that I needed to be transferred to a specialist hospital as they didn't have the facilities to perform the required operation. Based on this, the hospital staff proceeded to look for a hospital and it took them three hours before they finally managed to contact the Royal Free Hospital, who had an operating theatre available due to the urgency of the situation.

I was immediately rushed to the Royal Free Hospital so the operation could begin immediately. I arrived at the Royal Free Hospital at 12:30am the next day. As the ambulance landed, I was rushed straight into surgery but before the surgery began, the surgeon stepped back to talk to my husband and my waiting family. His words were, (and even when I read this, it's unbelievable). “I've seen the scan. There is blood all over the brain and Annabel will die imminently”

The surgeon left Aaron and the rest of my family in the waiting area. The surgeon spoke in the flesh, the natural. He spoke on what he knew. But my God! What the surgeon didn't know was that he was walking away, leaving a remnant of people who knew the words and understood the power and place of prayer. You see, from the moment all this began, prayers were taking place in the hospital, in the church and in homes across the UK, Nigeria and Ghana. God bless my man of God who never allowed fear to cripple him or silence him.

To both him, my parents and everyone else who took time to pray for me during the period. I thank you deeply. Prayers are the reason I am here today.

OK, so over two hours of surgery passed and by the grace of God, the same surgeon came out and informed my husband that the surgery had been successful. However, he also made it clear that I was not out of the woods yet, I had not woken up and it was crucial that I wake up. The surgeon said to Aaron that I was likely to have another bleed in the brain, and I was also likely to stay in intensive care for another five days. But as God's would have, it's in less than 12 hours. I was taken off life support and within 48 hours I was taken out of intensive care.

The next thing I remember is waking up feeling confused and disorientated. I didn't know where I was or what was going on. I thought I was dreaming and kept trying to wake up. The surgeons were amazed that I was breathing on my own. Yet we know with God, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing is impossible. Nothing is impossible. After the surgery, I had a pipe fitted into my brain so that the remaining blood could be leaked out.

The blood took around four weeks to totally clear. After an additional two weeks, I was referred to another rehabilitation hospital and told that I would need to be there for another six weeks. When I got there, I knew that I couldn't stay there for six weeks because everyone else needed some support by a member of staff. I needed nothing. I needed no one. It was only God that I needed.

Everyone, nine weeks later, I'm at home. I am a fully functional doing everything that I was able to do before the first debate for.