Wedding anniversary

Woman who shouldn’t spend the night celebrates her wedding anniversary a year later

After a woman was found collapsed and lifeless at the home, her family were told she was unlikely to make it through the night and should prepare for the worst.

However, Sheila Wilson made a miraculous recovery and a year later was cutting the cake at a wedding anniversary party with her husband.

Read more: Family tribute to his wife who collapsed in the schoolyard and never made it home

The exact circumstances of Ms Wilson’s fall are unknown, but the 64-year-old man, from Walney Island near Barrow, is believed to have missed a step up the stairs to the attic 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.”

Several emergency services including a first responder, the North West Ambulance Service and the Great North Air Ambulance attended the incident on October 1 of last year.

Martin said: “I heard the helicopter go by, it was so fast. No sooner had the ambulance arrived than the helicopter arrived.

Martin and Sheila cut the cake when they renew their wedding vows

“They explained it was serious and they said she had a head injury and needed to put her to sleep and I helped her carry her downstairs.”

Sheila was put into a 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 there by road.

Martin added, “The consultant saw me in the hospital and told me it was very serious, that she had broken her pelvis and there were two brain bleeds. We were right in the center of the brain which is the worst possible place to have one and nothing can be done.

“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.

The helicopter at the scene of Walney Island
The helicopter at the scene of Walney Island

Sheila was put on life support and the family were told she might not wake up and if she did she would likely be in a vegetative state.

Gradually, Sheila defied the odds and started showing signs of improvement.

Martin said he would call his wife and the phone would be put to her ear so she could hear his voice.

He said: “I played The Fields of Athenry, which is the song we danced to when we got married. We have all said our prayers for her. Some say miracles don’t happen, they do, I can assure you they do.

Sheila was allowed to return home on December 5.

“She’s coming back to normal but it’s going to take a lot longer to get there, she’s probably 75 to 80% there,” Martin said.

The couple were due 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.

Martin 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. hadn’t had the ambulance, first responders, GNAAS and surgeons, she wouldn’t be here.

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