Brave Lynn Lowe’s life changed forever - after she discovered her brain was sliding down her spine.
Lynn, of Tapton, said she had always been clumsy and suffered numbness in her arms and legs - but never expected the devastating news that she had a life-threatening condition.
She added: “In layman’s terms, my brain was slipping down the side of my spine.
“I was told if I didn’t have surgery I’d be paralysed.”
Doctors first thought the 58-year-old, had a brain tumour but further tests revealed the rare condition; Chiari Malformation.
She said: “The surgeon explained my skull was like a funnel and everything was slipping down causing a blockage which had stopped the spinal fluid from flowing.”
The bubbly mum-of-three underwent a six-hour operation which saw a piece of her skull removed, her brain put back in place and her spinal column widened.
“When they told me about the operation I was horrified but my surgeon said I didn’t have a choice,” she said.
But only five days after major surgery Lynn, of Lockoford Lane, returned home and now exactly one year on doctors are amazed by her progress.
And the grandmother-of-nine, who works at Dunston Hall garden centre, was finally discharged from hospital last week.
She said: “My outlook on life has completely changed and this has made me realise life’s too short. Live every day as you don’t know what’s round the corner.”
“People are amazed when I tell them my brain was slipping down my spine. It’s not a bad opener,” she laughed.
Lynn danced to health after major surgery
Cheery and positive, Lynn credits much of her amazing recovery to her love of dancing.
A member of SmartDanceWorks in Chesterfield, Lynn returned to her classes only one month after surgery - much quicker than surgeons ever imagined. She said: “My consultant was dumbfounded to hear I was doing turns and spins on the dance floor.”
Partner Stuart Bedingham, 64, who has supported Lynn through-out said: “It’s miraculous really. She is such a strong and determined person.”
Tracey Barnes who runs SmartDanceWorks said: “It’s been shown that dancing releases endorphins, which produce analgesia and a sense of well-being. You can see it on the dancers’ faces, all you see are smiles and happy people. That has to be good for anyone recovering from an illness and I’m sure that is what happened in Lynn’s case.”
Lynn added: “It’s not just the exercise and fun, it’s the support you get from others.
“Dancing has become such an important part of my life now I don’t know what I would do without it.”