The devastated daughters of a Sheffield mum who died suddenly from a brain aneurysm have appealed for as many people as possible to support Neurocare’s ROSA Robot Appeal.
Tara Clayton and her Mum Gail Oxley had spent a fun day shopping in the January sales catching up on their New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Gail dropped Tara off at her house – just ten doors away from the family home in Frechevile, Sheffield.
“Five minutes later I got a phone call from my Mum who was very panicky with what she described as the worst headache she’d ever had,” said Tara, a radiographer at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.
“When I got around there she was sat up holding her head, screaming with the pain but had lost function down her left side and knew that something very seriously was wrong.
“She deteriorated so quickly and it wasn’t long before she stopped making any sense. I’m a radiographer and part of me knew what was happening.”
Gail, a popular business woman who owned CBS Accountancy Services, was taken to Northern General Hospital’s accident and emergency department before being transferred to the Royal Hallamshire’s Neuro intensive care unit.
A day later, on January 3 this year, Gail died. She was just 52.
Tara and her sister Rachael Oxley have nothing but praise for all the medical staff and the work of Neurocare, the charity which funds life-saving equipment, cutting edge research and patient support at Sheffield hospitals’ neurological wards.
Tara, 26, added: “The one and only positive experience I could bring out of the horror of the situation was the Neuro ITU nurses and specialist organ donation nurses who made it their job to ensure my Mum and my family had the last best possible hours together.
“They gave us the opportunity to stay with my Mum in her final hours. We made prints of her hands, took locks of her hair and were given the opportunity to lie by her side.
“They even gave us toiletries from their own bags. Due to the specialist nurses and nurses of Neuro ITU we were able to say our goodbyes and wait with her until her organ donation.”
Gail, who also ran a beauty salon in Lincoln, donated her liver, pancreas and kidneys. Her family asked for donations to Neurocare at her funeral and many relatives and friends are taking part in the charity’s annual Headstart 10K and 5K fun run on Sunday, May 7, at Rother Valley Country Park.
Tara’s husband and some friends also ran last weekend’s Sheffield Half Marathon and Rachael, who manages Cath Kidston’s Meadowhall store is looking for donations of male and female toiletries for the Neurological wards.
“The Neuro nurses were just brilliant. They stayed after their shifts to make sure we were alright and could not have done more. We cannot thank them enough,” added Rachael who is training as an accountant to take on her Mum’s business.
“We know the amazing work that Neurocare do to support these brilliant staff and that is why we want to do all we can to help with the ROSA Robot Appeal.”
Neurocare has just launched a £250,000 appeal to secure the most advanced surgical robot of its kind for Sheffield hospitals’ neurological centre of excellence.
The ROSA surgical assistant robot could transform the lives of thousands of people needing complex brain surgery.
Just like a GPS system, ROSA provides neurosurgeons with extraordinarily accurate 3D maps of the brain, allowing them to precisely and safely reach areas they could not reach before.
This offers real hope for people with poorly controlled epilepsy, deep-seated brain tumours, Parkinson’s Disease and other complex brain disorders.
There is still time to enter Headstart. You can take part in a family fun 5K or a chip-timed 10K course at Rother Valley Country Park on Sunday, May 7. For more information and to enter go to www.neurocare.org.uk or call 0114 267 6464.
To support Tara go to her JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Tara-Jade-Clayton