Woman’s life changed after she went under the knife for brain surgery with just 40pc chance of success
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A woman who took a chance on brain surgery to tackle a condition which left her unable to take a bath alone has spoken about how it changed her life and gave her freedom.
Rebecca Rout, 41, was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was just 18 months old after she suffered a seizure and went into a coma.
'That's when some of the tissue in my brain died,' she said.
Not knowing when the seizures were going to come - sometimes up to five times a week - meant Ms Rout was able to do little alone.
In one incident she spilled boiling water down herself. In another, at her daughter's second birthday party, she banged her head on a cupboard door.
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'It was so embarrassing and awful,' the mother-of-two from Poringland said.
'I could not go out on my own, I could not have a bath on my own, in case something happened.'
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Despite her illness, Ms Rout worked from when she was 16 and met her now ex-husband Jonathan at 17.
And when she fell pregnant with her daughter, Bethany, at 23 she stopped having seizures.
She hoped this meant hormonal medication would help control them, but this proved fruitless.
'It's meant my daughters have had to be carers as well and it was getting worse and worse. I felt like I was in a tunnel I was not getting out of.
'I was always needing running from A to B, it was getting ridiculous.'
She asked her specialists about brain surgery, which had just a 40pc chance of success and if it went wrong, serious repercussions.
She said: 'I could have lost my memory, not been able to speak at all, or been paralysed.'
But for Ms Rout, who works at Jane Austen College, there was no other option.
'I thought anything has got to be better than what I was living.'
She waited until her children would be old enough to look after themselves if something went wrong, and even made arrangements for her own funeral
Then in August 2015 she shaved her head for charity and went under the knife.
'I wasn't until I went down to the surgery that I started freaking out,' she said.
The operation, which removed some of her brain, was a success and after a year of being seizure-free Ms Rout was allowed to learn to drive - something she never thought would be possible.
'I feel like a free woman,' she said. 'I can now do what I want, when I want. The worry is still there in the back of my mind, I'm not cured for ever and I'm still on all the medication but now I've got my life I want to live it.'