A mum whose husband was called to say his final goodbye as she lay on a life support machine has spoken of her amazing fight for survival.
Jill Trewick, 43, thought she simply had a bad cold when her health suddenly deteriorated.
When husband Andy, 44, rang home from Liverpool, where he was working as an electrician, he was greeted by the voice of his son Daniel, who said his mother was in tears.
Andy called his parents, Stan and Rosalie, both 76, who rushed to Jill’s aid and made a 999 call and she was admitted to hospital.
After she was first treated for a chest infection, she was later diagnosed with pneumonia and septicaemia, spending three weeks in Sunderland Royal before she was transferred to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, where she spent a further 10 days after her kidneys began to fail.
During that time, she was put into an induced coma and onto a ventilator, with antibiotics given to help her body fight the infection and to raise her blood pressure.
At one point, Andy was called to come and say ta-ra because basically they didn’t know if I was going to pull through.Jill Trewick
She was also connected to a dialysis machine to filter her blood and has been left with a scar on her back after her lung was drained, while a feeding tube was put into her stomach.
Jill, who missed her son’s fifth birthday because of her illness, has had to learn to walk again and had to be fed by nurses as she recovered from her ordeal, which happened in April.
But now Jill, who lives in Silksworth and is also mum to Anna, four, is now well enough to launch her new venture as a Weight Watchers leader.
She said: “At one point, Andy was called to come and say ta-ra because basically they didn’t know if I was going to pull through.
“When you are in the Integrated Critical Care Unit in Sunderland Royal Hospital they give you a diary of your stay, so that nurses, staff and family can record what has happened to you while you have been poorly.
“I have found mine so useful. It’s often hard to read without crying as it has captured my family’s feelings and how desperately worried they were about me.
“The nursing staff comment most days on how I have been, but I can’t remember any of this. The hospitals were just brilliant, I wouldn’t be here without them.
“Andy’s mam and dad had to cancel their holidays on a cruise as I was so poorly.
“I couldn’t walk, and it was such a struggle to get up and down stairs. I still don’t know what caused it.
“It was very traumatic for my family, and I didn’t see my children for a month, because we didn’t want them to see me in hospital, and I missed Daniel’s birthday.
“We’ll be celebrating his sixth birthday in style.
“I try not to think about what could have happened and just take it one day at a time, and every day since I’ve come home from hospital, I’ve felt better and better and I’ve had hundreds of get well soon cards. My family have been amazing. It was really traumatic for them, because they saw me when I was out of it and didn’t know if I was going to recover.
“I went out last Friday and Andy was on his own, and he said it was like I was back in hospital and it brought back those memories.”
Jill had been fit and healthy leading up to the infections, and had been at boot camp just days before she fell ill.
While she still suffers from numb toes and now feels the cold more than before, she is preparing to start her new job as a Weight Watchers leader.
“It was bizarre because I had an interview and accepted the job offer six days before I went into hospital,” she said.
“Andy had to ring my manager and say I wouldn’t be able to start as I was critically ill.”
Jill has also sent her thanks to mum Susan Kempster, 67, her brother David, 42, and her sister-in-law Lisa, 43, for their support as she battled back to health.
Jill’s Weight Watchers sessions will run at St Chad’s Church in East Herrington and the Stumble Inn in Chester Road.