Mum who had stroke at 36 thanks Queen’s Hospital for her ‘miracle’ daughter
PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 May 2017
When Beatrice Way suffered a massive stroke, her husband Alexander remembers clearly thinking it meant the end of their dream to have a baby.
But six years on they are about to celebrate daughter Rosemary’s first birthday.
After her stroke Beatrice was taken to Queen’s Hospital, Romford, run by Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust, the specialist neurological unit for the region.
There, surgeon Hu Liang Low performed a hemicraniectomy, removing part of her skull to relieve pressure on her brain.
Forty per cent of Beatrice’s skull was removed in the operation – however, it was kept alive by being sewn into a skin pocket in her abdomen.
Mr Low then carried out a further operation weeks later to put her skull back together.
Alexander said: “The doctors were excellent and we were really lucky to benefit from the facilities at the hospital. We are so grateful to Mr Low for saving Beatrice’s life.”
The operation is an old technique but fell out of favour due to the bone shrinking over time if left too long, or causing an infection risk if the operation was done too early.
Mr Low has reintroduced the technique at Queen’s after the trust was part of a multi-national study, the first of its kind in the world.
The study found that if the second operation takes place within six weeks, there is no bone shrinkage and no increased risk of infection.
Beatrice, who lives in a small village near Stansted Airport, spent nine months in hospital after her stroke, including several weeks’ rehabilitation in Cambridge. Due to paralysis on her left side, Beatrice uses a wheelchair for mobility. She was also left with epilepsy.
As she recovered, Beatrice never lost her determination to become a mum, despite tragically experiencing several miscarriages.
The couple said Rosemary’s birth, six weeks early, was a miracle.
Alexander added: “We were praying for a baby and so many times we could have given up. It’s amazing Beatrice survived, and even more of a miracle that we have Rosemary.
“We hope that hearing our story will give other people hope.”