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Jackie's Story

My husband, our younger daughter and I went skiing for a week to Austria at the beginning of April 2016. Whilst there Amelia and Miles were struck down with flu.  We returned home on the Saturday and Miles continued to deteriorate. On the Monday he was rushed into hospital. Nothing prepared me and my family for what was to come.


Miles had double pneumonia and had gone into septic shock. He was in complete organ failure and had severe ARDS. I was told that evening that he wouldn’t survive. I couldn’t believe what was happening, it was like such a bad dream. Our lives had suddenly been turned upside down.


The days went by and then the weeks. Nothing prepares you for the emotional rollercoaster that you go through when your loved one is in intensive care, on the brink of life. Things change by the hour, sometimes by the minute. I tried to hold on to any glimmer of hope whilst trying to stay strong for our two children especially our younger daughter who was 12 years old at the time.


Miles and I were both self-employed and our business had to close. Without the financial help of family and friends, we would have lost our home. We will be eternally grateful to them for their kindness.


Miles remained in coma and eventually woke up after two months. None of us could believe he had survived especially the doctors and nurses who fought very hard for him. In ICU they called him the miracle. Miles went into hospital on 11th April and came home on the 3rd August. What happened has changed all of us. The level of stress that you endure whilst your loved one is so sick really does take its toll eventually. A year later my youngest daughter and I both had to have psychological help because of the trauma of it all.

We are so lucky that Miles is still with us, and although what happened is becoming a faded memory it will never leave me.


Whilst in hospital Miles was approached by one of the nurses with the idea of setting up a support group for ICU patients and their families. He was very interested and Miles, together with that same nurse Carole, and Sue, another ICU survivor, set about starting up the ICUsteps support group in our local area. Two years on it is going from strength to strength and is giving help and support to many patients and their families after leaving hospital.  Talking to other relatives in a similar situation at their Drop-In meetings really helped me to start to come to terms with it all.

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