REAL LIFE

Epilepsy put me in a nursing home at 20

Ashleigh went on hunger strike in protest

A young woman who was forced to live in a rehab centre for the elderly after an allergic reaction has spoken about her ordeal.

Ashleigh Holt, now 26, was put in an induced coma after she suffered an epileptic seizure.

But she suffered a catastrophic allergic reaction to the drugs used to keep her asleep, causing her kidneys to fail and her muscles to waste away.

When she woke up in hospital, Ashleigh, who was then just 20, had to learn how to walk again.

Ashleigh in hospital

‘I was transferred to a rehab facility where everyone but me was elderly,’ she told that’s life! ‘They were all wearing bibs.

‘I had to share a bedroom with a lady who suffered from dementia. It was heartbreaking.’

Fearing that her distressing surroundings would set back her recovery, Ashleigh pleaded to be allowed to have her own room – and even resorted to starving herself.

She said: ‘After a couple of days, I was so unhappy I went on a hunger strike. After two weeks the staff gave in. Now, when I went to bed each night I could forget I was living in a home.’

After a five month stay, Ashleigh, from Brisbane, was allowed home.

Now a mum to two-year-old Eva, Ashleigh wants to raise awareness about epilepsy and how it can impact young people.

Ashleigh’s twin, Steph, helped keep her spirits up

For the full story see issue 20 of that’s life! on sale now.

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