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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Cumbrian mum thought she’d caught cold but ended up in coma

A mum who contracted pneumonia says she is “lucky to be alive” after spending seven weeks fighting for her life in intensive care.

Janine Horne photo
Janine Horne

Janine Horne, 40, fell ill with what she thought was a cold, but after being admitted to hospital in Carlisle she was transferred to North Tyneside Hospital where she lay in an induced coma.

The mum-of-two, of Broomfallen Road, Scotby, near Carlisle, said: “I’m so lucky to be here and I thank God that I’m alive. Some days it hasn’t sunk in and it feels like a dream.”

Janine, who works at Arran Aromatics at Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, became ill last October with what she thought was “just a cold”.

She said: “I was at work on the Friday and I thought it was just typical that I was going to be ill over the weekend.”

But as the weekend progressed Janine began to feel worse.

She told the News & Star: “I didn’t feel well at all. I had a sore throat and I was losing my balance. I tried to go to the bathroom but I couldn’t find it and I ended up falling over. My husband, David, had to help me.

“On the Monday morning I rang my dad and he told me to go to the doctor. My husband made an appointment and I went to the surgery in my pyjamas. I couldn’t hold my head up and my hands were locked in a grip position. The doctor sent me straight to A&E at the Cumberland Infirmary – and that’s all I remember.”

On October 11 last year, Janine – who has a 19-year-old daughter called Hannah and an 11-year-old son Ethan – was transferred to North Shields because she wasn’t responding to the antibiotics.

The former Trinity School pupil said: “I was on a ventilator in an induced coma. I knew nothing about it but one night the doctor told my mum and daughter not to leave as they didn’t think I was going to make it. My mum whispered in my ear that I was a fighter.”

Fortunately, in November, Janine’s condition began to improve and she regained consciousness.

She said: “When I woke up I was in a bubble. I couldn’t talk and had to use sign language and I couldn’t walk or eat. I was like a baby. I normally weigh about eight stone but I dropped to five stone.

“When I was at school I was Britain’s number one runner in the 800m and medics said I’ve got a strong heart. That helped me pull through.

“The first time I was able to phone my husband and son to say I loved them was just fantastic.”

Janine is now advising anyone who feels ill with a cold to get it checked out.

She said: “You just never know. I thought I had a runny nose and a cold but in fact I had a virus that was attacking my immune system.”

The NHS website says about one in 100 adults contract pneumonia each year in the UK.

Janine, who was allowed home just before her 40th birthday, said: “I’m still not 100 per cent. The doctors have told me it’s going to be a long road to recovery. I can walk again but sometimes if I get down on the floor I can’t get up again.

“I went back into work last Friday and it was very emotional. I now weigh nine and a half stone.

“I really want to thank my family, friends and colleagues for everything they’ve done for me. I didn’t think my family would ever be able to manage without me but they did.”

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