A Dundee mum who battled back from the brink of death after collapsing on holiday in Turkey says she still asks: “Why did this happen to me?”
Lynn Anderson, 61, spent three weeks in a Turkish hospital before a further six months at Ninewells in Dundee after falling ill a year ago.
Partner Gary Menzies was told three times to prepare for the worst as she was placed into induced comas after contracting sepsis.
But the brave former DC Thomson finance assistant battled back – and has defied doctors, who said she may never be able to dress or shower herself again.
‘There are days I feel like giving up but Gary says I’ve come so far’
Speaking at her home in Dundee for the first time since being discharged from Ninewells, Lynn told The Courier: “Every day is a challenge and I don’t think I’ll ever walk unaided again.
“Some days are very hard and there are days I feel like giving up.
“I think, ‘It’s not fair’, and, ‘Why did this have to happen to me?’
“In lots of ways I can’t actually believe what happened to me and I get very frustrated by my condition.
“Gary tells me I have come so far but I don’t feel like that, although I have made progress.”
Lynn’s nightmare began when she collapsed while on holiday in Turkey with Gary last September.
She was admitted to three Turkish hospitals while doctors struggled to find out what was wrong with her.
Initially it was thought she was suffering from meningitis, but sepsis was eventually diagnosed.
She was flown home three weeks later by air ambulance and admitted to the ICU at Ninewells.
On her return to Scotland, Lynn was told she would never walk again and would be unable to do things like dressing and showering herself without help.
However, she is now doing both and is walking with the aid of a frame.
Lynn says she has no memory of her holiday collapse, her time in hospital in Turkey or her trip in the air ambulance.
She said: “All I know is what Gary has told me about it.
“I was suffering from sepsis, I believe caused by a fall I had in Turkey while on another holiday there in June last year.
“I suffered three broken vertebrae in the fall, although I didn’t realise it at the time.
“I think this may have led to the sepsis.”
She says that while in hospital in Turkey she went on to suffer a heart attack, liver damage, pneumonia and a collapsed lung.
She said: “I was put into an induced coma three times – my body was shutting down.”
Dundee couple’s struggle with red tape after Turkey holiday ordeal
At Ninewells, she underwent months of treatment and physiotherapy before being allowed home.
She said: “My body is still so weak and painful due to muscle wastage after spending so long bedridden.
“But I’m getting there slowly. I have been out a couple of times now with my physiotherapist using my walking aid and I can now dress myself.
“I stood in the shower myself for the first time recently.
“I’m on 13 tablets a day, my vision is still not good and I can get very dizzy.
“I spend a lot of my time just sitting at home and it can get very lonely.
“Gary has been amazing and has become my full-time carer but we are also struggling with red tape while trying to sort out our financial situation.
“If I could do anything to help anyone else in a situation like ours, it would be to advocate for a system where people like me get allocated a single person to help organise things such as benefits and carers.
“We feel we are getting nowhere with so many different places to have to turn to for help.
“It’s made everything so much harder and the last thing I want to have to worry about is paying the rent and affording the bills.”
However, Lynn has one ambition that keeps her going.
She added: “I’d love to get back to Turkey next year but whether or not that will be possible, we will just have to wait and see.”