She was rung at around 7am the next morning (Saturday) when I was beginning to shout and scream in agony. At this stage I passed out and was in a coma till the following Wednesday. I was taken to the local hospital by ambulance - ten miles away - and then had to be taken 50 miles to have a scan in Galway. They had no idea what I had and it was not diagnosed until the late afternoon. They thought that I was going to die and someone else went ahead of me in the queue for the scan. I was sent back to the local hospital and was placed in intensive care where I remained until the Wednesday. I only have two memories of this time that seem like dreams. In the first there are a lot of people around my bed and in the second I was in Glasgow. My family were told to talk to me as it was considered possible that I might lose the power of speech. The hospital had never had a sufferer in my age group.
I came round as they were moving me from intensive care. I was frightened that I might lose my memory but it slowly came back over the next few weeks. I knew that I was on the mend when two people - whom I did not know very well - came and visited me and twittered at the end of my bed. I was so angry that I was spitting with rage. After 13 days in hospital I was discharged. I recovered slowly but surely, but for about six months I was very weak and tired easily. I had the sensation of pins and needles in my feet for three months at least. I was left with a very weak bladder and now, 15 years later, I have to catheterise myself. It probably took me about two years before I felt fully recovered.
The Foundation's Irish office was being set up in 1995 so I was involved from an early stage, becoming one of the early Befrienders. I have been used about eight times; the conversations last about 20 minutes each time and the men (and sometimes women) at the other end of the line are seeking reassurance about recovery.