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Undiagnosed bleed on the brain led to charity donation

Last October Lois Fitzgerald, 22, was rushed to hospital with symptoms of a stroke. This turned out to be a serious bleed on the brain which required immediate medical treatment. Lois’ uncle took part in Movember to raise money in appreciation, fondly re-naming it Lovember for Lois!

“I really wanted to share my story with others as the teams that looked after me at Southampton General Hospital have been so amazing. On 6 October I knew something was seriously wrong when I was sitting at home in the evening and had a pounding headache, the worst pain I have ever experienced and within second  I lost all feeling on the left side of my body. An ambulance was called and I was taken to Southampton General Hospital, “says Lois.

“Following a CT scan it showed that I had a bleed on the brain due to an arteriovenous malformation (AMV) where my blood vessels hadn’t formed properly. I was rushed to surgery and it took them nine hours to remove the AMV and two blood clots.”

Lois’ mum April, comments: “It was a really scary time for the family and when we heard that it was not a stroke but a bleed on the brain it was unbelievable. To think that she had this all her life without any medical history of problems or symptoms was incredible. Even the doctors couldn’t believe it!”

“Thankfully because I am still young my recovery has been quicker than others I have met. Because my brain is young it has been easier to re-teach myself how to do things,” says Lois. 

“I had to stay in the hospital and Snowdon rehab unit for several weeks then had physiotherapy at home three times a day for three weeks. I am still working on my rehabilitation which has been so hard as my entire left side was affected and I’m left handed. I have had to learn to feed myself, write and walk all over again.”

“I have a positive attitude and this has helped with my recovery. It has been a long journey but hopefully I’m nearly there. I always say live for the moment and after this scare, I definitely will! I want to say a special thank you to my uncle John and to everyone who sponsored him and supported our whole family.”

Lois’ uncle, John Basford, succeeded in growing a moustache for Lovember, and Lois presented Southampton Hospital Charity with a cheque for £930.60 to help continue the work done at Southampton General Hospital.

Last updated: 6 February 2014

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