Thursday, May 18, 2017 0 Comments

Ok so here's my story..
I have grown up a very active and sporty person. I did tap and Irish dance, swim club, was in choirs, went to stage school, did pole and circus performing..i just loved to keep busy. 

When I was 19 I became a lifeguard, a job I held for 7 years as well as a fitness instructor until I had my first son Leon in 2013, 14 months later my second son Andre was born and my life was perfect. Since 19 I also worked as a part time model and dancer around my full time job. After having my boys I got back into shape and carried on with my modeling, acting and dancing work, things were great, I had landed a couple of roles in some horror films, some tv work and regular dance work at a rock club, I was loving life!

About 2 weeks before I was diagnosed I had come down with the worst chest infection I have ever had... I was struggling to breath from all the coughing... Meds from the doctors were useless so my friend gave me an inhaler to try, it started to ease off but little did I know things would get much much worse.

I'll  never forget the morning of 30th, November 2014, the morning I woke up with pins and needles in my feet. I had been working the night before dancing and thought I must have hit that stage a bit too hard so didn't think much of it. 

Over the next few weeks I noticed my finger tips were knumb and there was also knumbness around my pelvic area and parts of my legs. At one point I did go to the emergency room as I thought this couldn't be normal, they didn't know what to say really and just said it should go soon..but it didn't.
Christmas was coming up and it was Andre's first so we focused on making it a special Christmas for him.

Our friends were coming over on boxing day for dinner too so we had a very busy time. My friends commented on how weird I was walking, at this point I said I would go back to A&E after the holidays..but little did I know I'd be there the next morning.

I woke up in the early hours unable to move my legs, we called 999 straight away and they arrived on blues and took me straight in. I remember saying to my partner at the time "I'm sure ill be out later". At the hospital I didn't have to wait long before they diagnosed me with Guillain Barre Syndrome and I was admitted.

All I wanted was to go home and be with my boys, I hated being away from them.
By day 2 in hospital the paralysis had spread to my jaw and my arms. I couldn't hold a knife or fork properly, I was in agony whenever the nurses had to do my blood pressure and my words were a little slurred. This was the day I gave up. I had 2 lovely ladies opposite my bed called Ellie and Ruth who were also suffering with GBS... they wouldn't let me give up, honestly they were my angels. I couldn't have got through this without them. My boys came to visit me every few days which gave me even more determination to get better.

The doctors said how extremely lucky I was that the paralysis didn't hit my lungs. When I told them I was a singer and gym bunny they practically said that was what saved my life. My lungs were super strong and were able to fight the paralysis. 2 long weeks of intense physiotherapy and sheer determination later I was able to go home. I was so so happy! The doctors said to try and build my strength back up slowly... Now anyone that knows me will know just how impatient I am... I had dance work coming up and I really didn't want to miss it... So I took the chance.

I remember that night all too well... I was so happy I'd overcome this illness and although I was taking things easier then usual my body felt ok but my brain wasn't. I remember coming down from the pole with a thud..and a shock of tingling powering through my legs, I ran backstage and immediately started having the most severe panic attack of my life. At this point my friend Emma suggested I was taken outside for air, I remember someone carrying me outside and the next thing I know..I'm back in hospital in resuscitation unit.

Luckily my friend Emma was with me, she knew what to tell the paramedics as they didn't know what Guillan Barre Syndrome was. My brain had basically freaked out and shut down..undoubtedly made worse by the massive panic attack. I had stopped breathing.

The doctors told me I needed to give up on the dance. This news crushed me, I became so depressed I didn't want to leave the house. I felt like an absolute failure, that everything I have ever done in my life was now pointless. I was so tired all the time, I cried all the time, I was weak and couldn't walk far without my legs hurting. 

My relationship fell apart with all this added stress... I just didn't want to exist anymore. I have no family where I am. My kids are what got me through this. They are my reason for living. After a while things started to get better. I have an amazing partner Andy. He's helped me so much by regaining my confidence and fitness. He's my rock.

I now feel that I'm getting somewhere. It's taken 2 years and I live with PTSD but things are getting better. I truly believe positive thinking and sheer determination can help with illness.

Siobhan Hatch (Miss Lucy Lasalle)