The family of a young Trim woman who is seriously ill in a Dubai hospital after suffering cardiac arrest and stroke have launched a fundraising drive to bring her home to Ireland.
Aisling Brady, a 26-year-old physics and maths teacher moved to the UAE in 2016. She had planned to take an extended career break from her hometown job, to eventually return and set herself up for a fantastic future.
Unfortunately on the 27th November 2017 this all changed. Her partner Kristian Mansfield told how Aisling went to school that day where she fainted for the first time, causing her to hit her head hard on the floor.
"After three minutes knocked out she came to and was sat in a wheelchair disorientated but totally aware and was a little frustrated at the fuss being made over what seemed to be a simple faint caused by stress. Luckily, Aisling was put in an ambulance and quickly transported to the hospital.
"Once in the ambulance things started to take a serious turn. Aisling suffered three seizures on the journey and luckily, within the space of fifteen minutes, was in a hospital bed. Once led down she then suffered the first of three cardiac arrests. After three to four minutes of resuscitation she was brought back, to then suffer the second and third cardiac arrests, each resulting in three to four minutes of resuscitation. This was then further complicated with a stroke, caused by a shower of smaller clots to the brain. This has caused serious damage to the brain and, combined with the total of twelve minutes of hypoxia, really left her cardio-vascular system and brain very, very weak."
The cause was a Pulmonary Embolism which had formed in her leg over a long period of time, rushing up to her heart and eventually ending up caught in her lungs. Aisling has remarkably thick blood and with the frequent flying since moving, it has caused this to be brought on sooner.
"We are extremely lucky to be able to start this page, as just over two weeks ago we were given no hope. If the ambulance was a minute later, we wouldn't be here," said Kristian.
Aisling's family and friends are praying that she can soon leave the acute phase in the coming weeks and then focus on the small steps to her recovery.
"Everybody that knows Aisling understands she is resilient, driven, stubborn and tenacious and she will not settle for anything less than getting her life back up to speed. With the right help and support, there is every hope we can together get her back to her loving and caring self. She has left huge footprints in the world, on our lives, let's make sure she can keep doing that," said Kristian.
The first part of Aisling's long term rehabilitation and recovery involves getting her home to Ireland. Her medical insurance provided by the school does not cover anything with regards to emergency medical evacuation or rehabilitation at home.
It is an extremely risky movement to bring Aisling home and Kristian explained they must take every step to mitigate the risk. After a lot of research and quotations, they have decided to go with a full air ambulance, essentially a hospital in the sky.
She will have a cardiac specialist, Neuro specialist, general doctor and nurses on-board, as well as a pre-mapped routes with potential emergency landing locations aligned. Once landed they will arrange for her to be made comfortable in a hospital in Ireland. It is a complete bed to bed service and on that basis is extremely expensive.
"As Aisling's condition improves over the coming weeks, there may be areas that we can save on the total amount and this cost may reduce, however any remaining money will go into Aisling’s rehabilitation program, which is going to be a long and hard road for all involved. This could be anything from helping her learn to communicate again, motor skills or even logical thinking, it is a very broad spectrum which we do not have information on but we will keep everybody updated," said Kristian.
A special account has been setup with appointed trusties back in Ireland and all money raised will go into that and be used to enable the family to get the Aisling we all know and love back to her big hearted self. There has been an incredible response in the first 24 hours or the campaign with more than €80,000 already donated to help Aisling on her long road to recovery.