A mum-of-five who suffered a massive brain haemorrhage and a stroke has described how she is lucky to be alive after paramedics thought she was just DRUNK.
Kerry Whitehead, 43, and her husband had been taking clients of their joint legal firm to a music festival when she began to feel unwell.
On arrival the couple went to a medical tent, where medics wrongly thought Kerry was just drunk and gave her a couple of painkillers.
But Lee, 40, was so concerned that he insisted his wife was taken to hospital, where things quickly took a turn for the worst.
Scans revealed the haemorrhage, which caused a stroke, and Lee was told it was unlikely his wife of ten years would survive the night.
An emotional Mrs Whitehead, who has had to relearn how to perform even the most basic of tasks, said: “It’s been a nightmare. The worst part is that they still don’t know what caused the haemorrhage.
“I don’t smoke and I eat healthily – I look after myself. So why did this happen? That’s what we still don’t know.
“I honestly believe had it not been for Lee insisting I went to hospital I would have died that day.”
Mrs Whitehead said she began to get a headache as she was applying make-up ahead of the Made in Leeds Festival in West Yorkshire on April 30.
She said: “On the minibus, I began to feel really unwell and I started to vomit. We had to stop in South Cave [East Yorks.] so I could be sick. I thought it would pass, so we carried on to Leeds.
“When we got to the festival I felt as though my legs were about to go from under me.”
By now, Mr Whitehead was growing increasingly concerned and took his wife to a medical tent. Mrs Whitehead cannot remember much of what happened next.
Mr Whitehead said: “I thought there was something seriously wrong.
“Initially, medical staff thought Kerry was drunk, which I must admit angered me. She was given a couple of pills – an aspirin and a paracetamol, I think.”
Mrs Whitehead was eventually taken by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary.
Mr Whitehead said: “I was told that they did not think she would make the night.
“They really were that blunt about it.”
Mrs Whitehead said: “I had lost my vision by this point. I had no feeling down the left side of my body – I felt nothing in my arm and left.”
Mr Whitehead was left to break the news to her parents, Barbara and Dave, and the couple’s eldest son Liam, 23, who raced from Hull, East Yorks., to Leeds.
Mrs Whitehead said: “I was drifting out of consciousness.
“But I can remember I could hear someone say, ‘she has a bleed on the brain and she has had a stroke’. I remember thinking, ‘Oh God, this is serious’ and my mum and dad coming in to see me.”
Mr Whitehead made the decision to hide the gravity of the situation from their other children, Kane, 17, Rudie, seven, Ronnie, five, and Lourdes, three.
He said: “I just told them that mum was poorly.
“I wanted to protect them from what was going on.”
Mrs Whitehead said: “Test after test was performed but they couldn’t work out what had caused it.
“They still don’t know. A camera was inserted into my groin and was fed up to my brain.
“A special dye was shot in the blood vessels that showed no bulging veins.
“They said it wasn’t going to happen again any time soon, but they weren’t able to tell me why it had happened.
“I’m told a brain biopsy might give us the answer, but that comes with risks and it’s not a risk I want to be taking with five children.”
Mrs Whitehead, who owns the law firm Accident Advice in Hull, with her husband, has had to accept a quieter pace of life.
She said: “I get tired very easily.
“Often, I’m in bed before the children. I tend to get very emotional about what has happened, especially when I’m tired.
“It’s unreal. Before, I’d attempt to do five jobs at once. But it’s as if the part of my brain that could multi-task has died.”
Mrs Whitehead wishes to thank staff at Hull Royal Infirmary.
She said: “They have been absolutely amazing.
“I know people knock hospitals, but trust me, they have been so, so good to me.”