Life was very comfortable – but I now realise that it only takes one event to turn your entire world upside down!

It was during a summer holiday, we received news mum had experienced a severe cerebral haemorrhage. She had collapsed in hospital car park whilst visiting a relative. The outlook was not good. When dad, my husband David and myself arrived at Chesterfield Hospital, we were immediately informed mum needed transferring to Sheffield for an emergency life-saving brain operation. We were shaken to the core! The situation felt totally unreal.

On our grief stricken journey to Sheffield, we prayed continually. We were as desperate as any human being can be. Our hearts were broken and we were stripped back to the rawest of emotions.

Mum was rushed straight into theatre and with my sister now joining us, we did the only thing we could – we prayed and praised God. The operation lasted all night. We prayed God would give us a sign mum would be ok. My sister prayed the surgeon would tell us the operation had been straightforward with very little blood loss. At 7am the surgeon informed us the operation had been “straightforward with very little blood loss”!

Throughout our emotional journey, we experienced many miracles. During the first week we were informed that for mum to stand a chance of survival, she needed to wake within 48 hours. By day 4, mum still hadn’t woken from the operation. We were all extremely worried. That evening, I read the bible story about the wedding in Cana in Galilee. The wine had run out – a great humiliation for the bride and groom. Jesus told the servants to fill some stone jars with water. At the very last moment the water was turned into wine and the celebrations continued. God’s timing and power and perfect. So it was with mum. Three days later, mum was still not conscious. We were told she would be sent for an MRI scan the next day to ascertain if her brain was functioning. It was then that I had complete conviction that she would wake before the scheduled scan – at the very last moment. That day we visited. Mum had woken up.

For weeks, we were living on the edge not knowing what to expect. Mum ended up having two further brain surgeries to fit a drain and the whole period was incredibly stressful. The hardest thing was the constant trials. In the bible we read that suffering produces ‘patient endurance’. We walked that path. It goes against our quick-fix, want-it-now culture. Many things in life cannot be solved overnight. We need God’s strength to sustain us.

The effects of mum’s brain bleed resulted in severe problems with her coordination, speech, swallowing and balance. However, mum continues to improve. She rarely uses a wheelchair now. Whilst she still uses a frame for balance, her walking is almost normal. Mum and dad often go for walks and she is back doing the weekly shopping. Her coordination is now almost normal and her speech and swallowing have also improved amazingly. Every professional has said that very few people survive the level of brain bleed that mum experienced. Three independent staff commented that she shouldn’t have made it.

Throughout Mum’s recovery we have witnessed so many miracles. As a family, we have never felt closer to God and we know that he is holding us in his hands. We thank God for what he has done and know we can truly trust in him!