Mother, 42, wrongly diagnosed with food poisoning on holiday has brain bleed

A mother says she is ‘lucky to be alive’ after doctors on holiday dismissed her brain bleed as just food poisoning.

Caroline Johnson was in Majorca with her family when she had to go to bed with a headache that felt like a ‘smack’ to the head.

The 42-year-old, who initially thought it may have been sun stroke, retreated to her hotel room in agony and began throwing up.

Hotel reception called a doctor when Mrs Johnson’s headache became too much to bear at 4am.

The medic allegedly said she had a dodgy stomach caused by food poisoning – and Mrs Johnson thought nothing more of it.

But back in the UK – and a week after the symptoms started – she collapsed and was rushed to hospital.

Scans showed she’d suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage – a type of stroke caused by an artery in the brain bursting. Doctors rushed her in for emergency surgery.

Caroline Johnson was in Majorca with her family when she had to go to bed with a headache that felt like a 'smack' to the head (pictured with her two sons Jay, nine and Kye, six)

Caroline Johnson was in Majorca with her family when she had to go to bed with a headache that felt like a ‘smack’ to the head (pictured with her two sons Jay, nine and Kye, six)

But back in the UK - and a week after the symptoms started - she collapsed and was rushed to hospital. Scans showed she'd suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage - a type of stroke caused by an artery in the brain bursting (pictured in hospital)

But back in the UK – and a week after the symptoms started – she collapsed and was rushed to hospital. Scans showed she’d suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage – a type of stroke caused by an artery in the brain bursting (pictured in hospital)

A year on, the former housekeeper from Sheffield is returning to the same hotel in Majorca to ‘celebrate being alive’.

Mrs Johnson said: ‘It was unbelievable that I’d survived a haemorrhage for seven days. The doctors said that shouldn’t have been the case.

‘I’d not been doing anything out of the ordinary. I was just enjoying a wonderful break away from England with my hubby and kids.’

She added: ‘I nipped inside to change for the beach when I felt a smack on the back of my head – or something like it.

‘The doctor said the headache was probably just food poisoning – which is super serious, mind you, but not what it really turned out to be.

‘At every point, I was misdiagnosed, so all I could trust on to get myself checked up properly was myself and me knowing my body.’

Mrs Johnson began to suffer symptoms at around 12pm on June 7 last year, and went to lie down in her room at Cala Ferrera Hotel.

Her husband Phillip, 46, looked after their two sons Jay, nine and Kye, six, while she rested back in the hotel room. 

A year on, the former housekeeper from Sheffield is returning to the same hotel in Majorca to 'celebrate being alive' (pictured with husband Phillip before her brain bleed)

A year on, the former housekeeper from Sheffield is returning to the same hotel in Majorca to ‘celebrate being alive’ (pictured with husband Phillip before her brain bleed)

Mrs Johnson began to suffer symptoms at around 12pm on June 7 last year, and went to lie down in her room at Cala Ferrera Hotel (pictured with her husband)

Mrs Johnson began to suffer symptoms at around 12pm on June 7 last year, and went to lie down in her room at Cala Ferrera Hotel (pictured with her husband)

Mrs Johnson was surprised her symptoms could be food poisoning but thought nothing more of his 'hasty decision' (pictured with their sons and family friend Akbar)

Mrs Johnson was surprised her symptoms could be food poisoning but thought nothing more of his ‘hasty decision’ (pictured with their sons and family friend Akbar)

She said: ‘The sunlight caused me so much pain that all I could think to do was call the reception. I stayed indoors vomiting and lying down.’

Around 4am the next day, Mrs Johnson woke up ‘feeling so unwell’ and asked the concierge to send up a doctor. ‘I thought I was dying,’ she said.

When she described how she was feeling, the unidentified doctor misdiagnosed the brain haemorrhage as a serious bout of food poisoning, she said.

Mrs Johnson was surprised her symptoms could be food poisoning but thought nothing more of his ‘hasty decision’ and paid him around £240. 

The next day, on her journey back to the UK, her condition deteriorated and said the drive from Gatwick to Sheffield was ‘the longest of my life’.

A few days later, she was still being sick and developed double vision, but claims she contacted opticians who turned her away.

The next day, on her journey back to the UK, her condition deteriorated and said the drive from Gatwick to Sheffield was 'the longest of my life' (pictured with Kye)

The next day, on her journey back to the UK, her condition deteriorated and said the drive from Gatwick to Sheffield was ‘the longest of my life’ (pictured with Kye)

She was transferred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and underwent a two hour procedure, where tiny platinum coils sealed off the aneurysm from the main artery (pictured with Phillip)

She was transferred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and underwent a two hour procedure, where tiny platinum coils sealed off the aneurysm from the main artery (pictured with Phillip)

She was rushed to Northern General Hospital after she collapsed at a friend’s house. A CT scan revealed she had a subarachnoid haemorrhage. 

A vessel in the right side of her brain had bulged from an aneurysm, typically caused by high blood pressure or particular physical effort or strain. 

She was transferred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and underwent a two hour procedure, where tiny platinum coils sealed off the aneurysm from the main artery.

Mrs Johnson was discharged after 10 days in intensive care, but requires having MRI scans every six months.

She no longer works and said her recovery has been ‘painful and slow’, and she still has difficulty speaking.

But she said she feels ‘blessed and lucky to be alive’, so the family is going back to the Cala Ferrera Hotel in Majorca this month to ‘celebrate being alive’. 

WHAT IS A SUBARACHNOID HAEMORRHAGE? 

A subarachnoid haemorrhage is an uncommon type of stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain. It’s a very serious condition and can be fatal.

Subarachnoid haemorrhages account for around one in every 20 strokes in the UK.

There are usually no warning signs, but a subarachnoid haemorrhage sometimes happens during physical effort or straining, such as coughing, going to the toilet or lifting something heavy.

Symptoms:

  • A sudden agonising headache – which is often described as being similar to a sudden hit on the head, resulting in a blinding pain unlike anything experienced before
  • A stiff neck
  • Feeling and being sick
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Stroke-like symptoms – such as slurred speech and weakness on one side of the body
  • Loss of consciousness or convulsions (uncontrollable shaking)

Treatment: A person with a suspected subarachnoid haemorrhage needs a CT scan in hospital to check for signs of bleeding around the brain.

If a diagnosis of subarachnoid haemorrhage is confirmed or strongly suspected, you’re likely to be transferred to a specialist neurosciences unit.

Medication will usually be given to help prevent short-term complications, and a procedure to repair the source of the bleeding may be carried out.

Medical information via the NHS official website

Source

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
    1
    Share
  •  
    1
    Share
  •  
  •  
  • 1

Related posts

Leave a Comment