Mother trapped in her own body for nine months after brain haemorrhage makes startling recovery thanks to last ditch surgery

  • Pauline Quinn suffered a brain haemorrhage in July 2011 and was unresponsive for nine months, unable to walk, talk or eat
  • Amazed doctors by talking again after shunt drained excess fluid from brain
  • She told her sister she thought she had been in hospital for a few weeks
By Claire Bates

A woman who was trapped inside her own body for nine months after a brain haemorrhage has made a remarkable recovery in just three days.
Pauline Quinn, 49, couldn't walk, talk or feed herself. She was so unresponsive that plans were being made to move her to a residential home after doctors said there was nothing more they could do.
After three major operations, a last attempt to drain the fluid from Ms Quinn's brain was successful - and doctors were left stunned when she was up and talking after just three days.
Pauline Quinn was unresponsive for nine months after she suffered a brain haemorrhage. She is now able to paint again
Pauline Quinn was unresponsive for nine months after she suffered a brain haemorrhage. She is now able to paint again
Pauline in hospital: Following the successful shunt, she told her sister she thought she had been there for a few weeks
Pauline in hospital: She started to respond again after brain fluid was drained by a shunt
Her sister, Janiece Wallace, said: 'It was heart breaking to see her lying there. She couldn't do anything for herself.
'I had to brush her teeth for her and she was fed through a tube. I would talk to her and although she would move her eyes, there was just no one there.
'We thought she was going to be like that forever and there was nothing more we could do for her.
'Now there's just no stopping her! It's her second chance at life and she is so much stronger than she ever was before.'
Ms Wallace, 51, found her sister in bed almost 24 hours later and raised the alarm. Ms Quinn was rushed to Chesterfield Royal Hospital on July 20, 2011.
Ms Wallace said: 'I had no idea what was going on, she was mumbling gibberish and not making any sense.
'It was almost like she was in a trance.'
Doctors told the family that they had never seen anything like this before and that Ms Quinn was incredibly lucky to be alive.
She had suffered a sudden subarachnoid brain haemorrhage cause by a ruptured aneurysm - a bulge in a blood vessel. Surgeons clipped her anuerysm to make it smaller two days after she was admitted and she had a bone flap temporarily removed in a craniotomy on July 23.
Pauline with her neurosurgeon Umang Patel who gave her a new lease of life
Pauline with her neurosurgeon Umang Patel who gave her a new lease of life

pauline and janiece
pauline and janiece
Sisters: Pauline with Janiece (l) before she was rushed to hospital. And today after she emerged from her vegetative state
Four months later in November Ms Quinn had part of her skull replaced by a metal plate to relieve pressure on her brain.
By this point her distraught family had given up hope of her recovering after seeing little improvement and had started looking for residential homes.
Then on February 4, 2012 doctors put a shunt into Ms Quinn's brain to drain extra fluid from her skull. When she came around she shocked them and her family by starting to talk.
Ms Wallace said: 'I walked through the door and she said "Hi Janiece, how are you doing?".
'I felt like I had been hit by a bus, I couldn't believe it.'
But Ms Quinn slipped back into a vegetative state shortly after.
Getting fit: Pauline is going to run a 5K for Neurocare
Getting fit: Pauline is going to run a 5K for Neurocare
After four weeks on the high dependency unit surgeons concluded there was little hope of Ms Quinn recovering. But as a final attempt, consultant neurosurgeon Umang Patel put a shunt into Pauline's body to drain the brain fluid again.
Just three days later she stunned her doctors by talking and trying to get out of bed.
Ms Wallace said: 'She had gone from being a person who could comb her hair or brush her teeth, to saying "Get off my bed Janiece, I need to go to the toilet!".
'She came to and she explained to me that she knew she was in hospital. She thought she had been there for a couple of weeks.
'I had to tell her she had been there for nine months. She couldn't believe it!
'It has given her a totally new lease of life. She wakes up every morning, points at herself in the mirror and says 'you are beautiful!'.'
It took Pauline another two months to learn to walk again, but she now enjoys cooking and painting and is training for a 5k run to raise money for Sheffield charity, Neurocare.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.
WOW! A second chance at life! Go and live it to the most! sheesh. what a story
Click to rate     Rating   12
I used to work in a neurosurgery ward as a ward clerk up until last October. This story is amazing, miracles do happen. Also neurosurgeons and neuro nurses are FANTASTIC!!! plus the occupational therapist and physios. They really are super heroes and very modest. I love the outcome of this story.
Click to rate     Rating   13
this is why we should not have liverpool care pathway in our hospitals ... this lady has proved not all is lost if doctors continue to preserve life rather than take the easy option and let someone die .... well done pauline your story gives us all hope xxx
Click to rate     Rating   12
my mother suffered the same hemorrhage back in 2011. She was treated in Haywards Heath. I have previously been negative towards the NHS due to long waiting times for appointments etc, but the care my mum received was beyond fantastic! There aren't enough words of gratitude I could give to the vast number of team members who looked after her, and us. They were always there to help us, answer any questions, and be a shoulder to cry on. I know first hand hiw difficult it is to help someone recover from this, and I wish this lady all the best for the future, and a lifetime of health and happiness!
Click to rate     Rating   9
How wonderful to hear some very happy news for a change, and great that her surgeon, Umang Patel didn't give up hope on her. It just shows, we never know what the future holds, and we should make the most of each precious day. I wish Pauline and her family many happy years together.
Click to rate     Rating   6
For once, a good news story.
Click to rate     Rating   20
how lovely to read a story with a happy ending ...has made me feel very happy. Good luck to this lady
Click to rate     Rating   7
A really uplifting story. Such a nice change from doom and gloom.
Click to rate     Rating   6
What a wonderful outcome, luckily she had the support of friends and family otherwise she could have ended up on the LCP.
Click to rate     Rating   5
Nice to have a GOOD news story for a change.
Click to rate     Rating   5
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