Newcastle student’s tonsillitis turned into ‘one-in-a-million’ fight for her life | #students | #parents


A student’s bout with tonsillitis spiralled into a “one-in-a-million” nightmare, which left her fighting for her life.

After developing tonsillitis, Sarah Bradshaw, from Newcastle, contracted sepsis before suffering a series of major strokes.

At one stage she was placed on life support while doctors feared she may never fully recover.

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However she’s defied the odds and just over two years since her ordeal, the 23-year-old has graduated with a First in her Psychology and Criminology degree.

Sarah said: “It was a really scary time for everyone, I still can’t remember much from my time in hospital but I’ve been told the doctors didn’t expect me to recover because most hadn’t seen anyone in a situation like mine before, they kept saying it was one-in-a-million.”

She was in the second year of her degree at Edge Hill University when, in March 2019, she fell developed tonsillitis, a condition which in itself isn’t serious.

However it was soon discovered that she was allergic to both penicillin and the antibiotics needed to treat the infection.

Despite the best efforts of NHS staff, her body started to shut down and just three days after she was admitted to hospital, she was placed on life support.

Pictures show her attached to machines in the hospital bed, while the infection – coupled with the strokes and other health complications – severely impacted Sarah’s movement on her left side as well as her short-term memory, writing and speech.

Sarah Bradshaw survived a ‘one-in-a-millon’ ordeal which left her fighting for her life – now she’s graduated

However her determination to return to her studies stunned her medical team, and after a short bout of rehabilitation, she defied the odds to return to her lectures.

“Amazingly, it only took me 54 days to get home,” she recalled.

“I had two advantages, I was young, and I was absolutely determined to go back to university. After a lot of hard work, rehab and recovery I had regained enough movement and speech to be able to return to campus.

“When I came back I had so much support, Edge Hill offered me counselling to deal with the emotional fallout of my experiences and my lecturers gave me plenty of extra support to settle me back in. It was really amazing.”

She chose to study at the Lancashire university, as it was where both her mum and grandmother studied.

Sarah Bradshaw survived a ‘one-in-a-million’ ordeal which left her fighting for her life – now she’s graduated

And now she’s set to return again – this time to study a Master’s degree in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Once she graduates, she wants to find a career in which she can help others.

“I’m really glad I did choose to come to Edge Hill because all the staff have been incredible throughout my time here,” she added.

“Whether it’s my studies or my health difficulties my lecturers have all been so supportive and helpful, it made dealing with everything so much easier.”

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