Coma recovery amazes doctors

editorial image

A man who was kept artificially alive after slipping into a coma has amazed doctors by making a miracle recovery - and returning to work.

25-year-old Luke Turnbull will also wed his long-term love Liz Whittaker after battling back from a massive brain injury.

Luke, from Rossall Road, Lancaster, slipped into a coma after suffering a sudden hypoglycaemia low blood sugar attack during his sleep in January.

He lay undiscovered at his house in Rossall Road, Lancaster, for around 10 hours until mum Karen, 46, of nearby Watery Lane, raised the alarm after he failed to turn up at hospital with his young cousin.

They had been due to visit Luke’s aunty, Linda Grimes, who only that week had been diagnosed with leukaemia.

Knowing something was seriously wrong, Luke’s friends, Andrew Satterthwaite, 25, of Lancaster; Richard Whittaker, 26, of Bolton Le Sands, and cousin Kane Grimes, 20, of Lancaster, raced to his home and Luke was found unconscious on the floor.

He was rushed by ambulance to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) but was found to have suffered a massive brain injury.

Luke, who works at Heysham Power Station, was kept in a coma to try and help repair the damage and was artificially kept alive by determined doctors and nurses in the intensive care unit (ICU).

His parents and sister Louise, 17, were warned that he may never fully recover so when he was brought out of his coma, they all prepared for the worst.

Mum Karen even arranged for her parents, who were on their first ever cruise, to cut short their holiday and fly back, after being told “he probably wouldn’t make it.”

Dad Pete Turnbull, 48, said: “The following day he opened his eyes and the next he began to respond to the world around him, the next day he began to speak. Once he began to recover he did so quickly. The recovery had its challenges, but with the care in ICU and then the medical ward, he continued to improve.

“He was discharged from hospital after about 16 days and his recovery has continued with the support of the brain injury and diabetes support teams.”

Only last week, Luke was diagnosed with epilepsy as a result of what happened and said as he was lying on his left arm for so long, he could have needed it amuputating. He initially lost many memories but is making massive strides.

Luke said: “A lot of my memories from that time are muddled up but I suppose the thing I remember most is coming round and seeing my fiance sitting next to me on the bed on Ward 1, and Mum, Dad, my sister, and loads of my family and friends being there.”

He also praised the medical staff who saved his life. Luke said: “They do the most wonderful job. I could be in a box in the ground but I’m not. I’d like to thank a lot of people but the ambulance crew, the hospital, the ICU, Ward 1. Basically I’m sorry to have put every single member of my family and friends and Liz, through what I did.”

As a mark of his new found philosophy on life, Luke has had his catchphrase: “It’s all right, Bru,” tattooed on his arm, along with 10 friends - Bru being South African for “mate.”