On arrival at the hospital I was greeted by two nurses but in minutes this had turned into a full-scale emergency and I was surrounded by medics doing their best to keep me alive. Everything in my body shut down: my breathing failed, my kidneys failed and my heart needed stronger and stronger drugs to maintain any blood pressure. I turned black from head to toe and was given very little chance of survival - my poor family were told to expect the worst. However, three weeks later I awoke from my coma but the cost of survival had been great. To save my life doctors had amputated both my legs and I was told both my hands would have to be amputated too.
I was completely and utterly devastated. Never again would I play the piano or run or go back to my PhD. My life as I had known it was gone forever.
But 11 years later I'm fit and well. I have new arms and legs I can walk and run with. I live with my partner and I have a dog, I can write, draw, type, drive, cook and even ski and I work full time for the charity Mobilise who campaign on behalf of disabled motorists.
Sometimes I get sad about what happened to me and I can't help but wonder what the outcome would have been if a correct diagnosis was made immediately. But I try not to dwell on the past as it won't change anything. Instead I look to the future and my family and I will always support the MRF in their endeavour to find a cure for this terrible disease.
Written by: Helen Smith