29-year-old Sarah Lane was 18 weeks pregnant and looking forward to motherhood when she experienced a massive brain haemorrhage, leaving her fighting for her life and not able to remember that she was pregnant.
In February 2016 Sarah, from Lincoln, was having her hair done when she collapsed suddenly and was rushed to hospital unconscious. At the hospital, her family were told that she had suffered a severe brain bleed and was unlikely to survive.
“The doctor told my mum there was nothing they could do for me and they were simply waiting for my dad to get to the hospital to say goodbye,” said Sarah. “Then the doctor said that Nottingham Queens Medical Hospital would have me, so I got blue lighted all the way.”
Against all the odds, Sarah regained consciousness but soon found that her memory had been seriously affected.
Recalling this, Sarah said: “I couldn’t remember what happened before and during my haemorrhage.”
But perhaps most shockingly, Sarah didn’t initially remember that she was pregnant.
My family were told not to mention the baby, until I did.
Remarkably, Sarah’s baby was still alive and, once she became aware, it was the thought of the tiny life inside her that motivated Sarah to recover.
On discharge from hospital, Sarah returned home to her parent’s specially adapted house.
Sarah said: “My brother is disabled so we have a stair lift and a walk-in shower and these things really helped me and meant I could return home instead of going to a rehabilitation centre.
“I could no longer do the things I was once able to do and, to start with, I only had a 20 second memory so anything anyone said to me I would forget.
The one clear memory I do have is on the 10th March 2016. I got taken for my baby scan where I found out I was having a baby boy. From then on I could feel him moving which was the greatest feeling in the world after all of this.
Sarah’s little miracle, baby Jack, was born healthy some months later.
Little Jack is now three years old and Sarah is doing well. However, the effects of her brain injury have presented some parenting challenges.
“I suffer with fatigue so bringing up my son as a single parent is hard,” she said.
“But I wouldn’t change my little boy for the world. Just seeing him smile and say ‘mummy’ makes this all worth going through.
I want my son to grow up knowing that his mummy does everything she can for him.
“I try to get as much rest as I can, so once I put Jack to bed that means it’s my bedtime too.”
As well as the fatigue, Sarah’s memory problems remain an issue – “Sometimes I forget what my little boy has done which is really upsetting.
“I keep a diary and have a memory box and photo albums to put special things that me and Jack have done.
“I hope that when he’s older he’ll be able to look back at everything we’ve achieved.”
Sarah is positive about the future and has just started working part-time in a shop. She also dreams of moving into her own house with Jack.
I believe that my son saved my life. He gave me a reason to keep on going. I’ve always wanted to be a mummy from such a young age and he makes me feel so proud of myself.
“I look at Jack when I’m having a bad day and realise, he is the one that needs me more than anyone in this world. He is the one I have to keep on fighting for.
I know life isn’t going to be easy, but with Jack by my side I know I can achieve anything!
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