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Updated: Oct 22, 2023

I grew up in North London with my parents and sister. In 1996, at the age of 9, I was hit by a careless driver. A whole new life began. I was left with epilepsy, memory impairment and learning difficulties. The rest of my childhood was overshadowed by an 11 year court case.

In August 2007, my new life was beginning. The court case had just finished. No more solicitors, interviews, clinical psychologists - total freedom! To celebrate, my passion for animals convinced me to do a conservation holiday in Namibia, followed by a safari. I volunteered at a wildlife orphanage for a week. This was a success, despite some fits. I met good people who shared the same love of animals and conservation. I felt purpose for being alive, and I hadn’t felt so happy since I was 8. The safari, however, didn’t go so well. Cutting a long traumatic story short, I was sexually assaulted by the guide over the week and on the final night I was raped in my tent. A very stressful year with PTSD symptoms and overprotection followed. I continued with university; although it became extra challenging, I didn’t want to give up my independence, friendships and reward. University will always be the greatest achievement of my life.

Epilepsy is certainly an obstacle that has affected me in many ways. Not being able to drive has interrupted my career prospects. Epilepsy has nearly taken my life twice. In June 2012 I had a brain haemorrhage after invasive surgery went wrong. I remember every moment and even now the memories sometimes come back to pester me. It was like a bomb exploding in my head and I was screaming for pain killers. When I woke the following morning, I was confused. The neurosurgeon told me I’d had a life threatening bleed and if I hadn’t said anything, I would have died within a year and a half. I remember thinking to myself, ‘What if I’d just suffered in silence…. There was a way out and I could have taken it.” Ever since then, I have strongly supported the right to die. I will admit that on occasions, I regret not suffering in silence, but everyone with PTSD is likely to feel such a way at times.

I fought off death again in November 2018. It was 24 hours before a flight to Finland when I had a fit at the gym and the electricity stopped my heart. My eating disorder was at its worst and I was told excessive caffeine from weight loss pills may have played a role. A junior doctor gave me CPR and I woke 24 hours later in an induced coma. This trauma leaves me with anger more than anything. A long awaited holiday cancelled, another near-death experience - what next?

I won’t allow my struggles to get in the way of my passion for adventure and love of exploring. I couldn’t be happier than when I am hiking a mountain. A big achievement of mine was summiting Kilimanjaro, with a few fits along the way. Doing the world’s highest bungee jump was fun too! Whenever I reach the summit of a mountain, I know why I am still alive.

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you are a true inspiration and your love for life and determination not to be stopped has made you the gifted and talented lady you are today, keep smiling even through the rough times and keep updating with what your doing, i feel blessed to have come across such a lovely person as yourself

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