A teacher has told of her shock at discovering she was living with a health timebomb after being diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain condition.
Nikki English had no idea when she went for a MRI scan to try to find the reason why she was suffering from numbness in her face that it would reveal the devastating diagnosis.
The facts and stories were quite frightening.Nikki English
The 29-year-old says the news that she had a brain aneurysm – a weakness in blood vessels which can blow up and burst – came as an “absolute shock”.
Now she wants others to be aware of the dangers,
Mrs English, of Black Road, Hebburn, said: “When I left the hospital, I went on to the internet and the facts and stories were quite frightening.
“The worst thing was finding out that people can be living with a brain aneurysm but not be aware of it – unless they have a scan for something else or it ruptures. It can be fatal.”
Mrs English is now hoping her health lesson can raise awareness of the condition, its signs and symptoms.
She added: “Some people will put the pain down to a migraine or headache, but it could be that they have a brain aneurysm.
“They can happen to anyone at any age.
“This is a life-threatening condition and the risks can be reduced by lifestyle choices.”
Mrs English will undergo tests later this month to determine the next steps in her treatment.
“I’m lucky, in that my brain aneurysm has been picked up and that it is quite small. Because of that, it is classed as low risk, but it doesn’t stop you from being scared.
“I’ve made lots of changes in my life and I’ve even stopped going on fairground rides, as I’m scared it will have an impact on it.
“I do take a lot more care of myself, but it is the fear of the not knowing.”
Mrs English has launched an online petition to raise awareness of the need for early detection.
To sign, visit //petition.parliament.uk/petitions/166052.