After Sheila Wilson was found collapsed and seemingly lifeless in her Walney Island home, her family were told she was unlikely to make it through the night and should prepare for the worst.
Instead, a year later, Ms Wilson and her husband cut the cake on their anniversary.
The exact circumstances of Ms Wilson’s fall are unknown, but the 64-year-old is believed to have missed a step down the attic stairs while carrying a box of ornaments.
Her husband Martin, 57, said: “I heard a loud bang and looked up and Sheila was lying on the floor, curled up like a baby and she had a box under her with broken ornaments.
“She was just bubbling and not responding at all and I thought it was wrong and called the ambulance and they were there within minutes.”
A first responder, North West Ambulance Service, and the Great North Air Ambulance Service attended the incident on October 1, 2020.
“I heard the helicopter go by, it was so fast. No sooner did the ambulance show up than the helicopter was here, ”Wilson said.
“They explained it was serious and they said she had a head injury and had to put her to sleep and I helped her carry her downstairs.”
Ms Wilson was put into an induced coma before a short transfer from her home to the local bowling alley via the ground ambulance.
She was then flown to Royal Preston Hospital while her husband, son-in-law and daughter traveled to the same location.
“The consultant saw me in the hospital and told me that it was very serious, that she had broken her pelvis and that there were two bleeds in her brain. One was right in the center of the brain, which is the worst possible place to have one and nothing can be done, ”Wilson said.
“It looked like there was no brain activity and they said to let the rest of the family know that we don’t think she will get through the night. If she does, it’s an absolute miracle.
Ms. Wilson was put on a survival machine. The family were told that she might not wake up and if she did, she would likely be in a vegetative state.
Gradually, however, she began to show signs of improvement.
Mr Wilson said he would call his wife and the phone would be brought to her ear.
“I played The Fields of Athenry, the song we danced to at our wedding,” he added.
“We have all said our prayers for her. Some say miracles don’t happen, they do, I can assure you they do.
Ms Wilson returned home on December 5 of last year.
“She’s coming back to normal but it’s going to take a lot longer to get there, she’s probably 75-80% there,” Wilson said.
The couple were supposed to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in 2020, but the party has been delayed due to COVID.
With all the disruption, there were concerns the event would never take place, but on August 28, the couple renewed their vows in front of friends and family.
Mr Wilson said: “We called it 25 plus one. It was written on the cake.
“Everyone was there and we had such a great day thanks to everyone who helped. Without the ambulance, first responders, GNAAS and surgeons, she wouldn’t be here.
GNAAS depends on donations to survive and has launched a raffle with a top prize of £ 10,000 to help meet the growing demand for its services. Tickets cost £ 1 each and are available now at gna.as/raffle21