A "terrified" mum who had to undergo life-saving surgery after becoming seriously unwell has battled to recover both mentally and physically - and is now taking on the London Marathon. Allison Basker nearly died and was rushed to hospital in October 2021 for major emergency surgery.
The mum-of-three, from Bilton, near Hull, was vomiting and had a fever on October 31, 2021, and was taken to hospital after calling 111 for help. Doctors discovered she had a herniated bowel and they had to operate immediately to remove part of the organ, HullLive reports.
Allison, 47, had to stay in hospital for five days where she was given morphine and had to be fed by a drip while doctors kept her under observation. Although the surgery saved her life, Allison admitted the recovery process was a struggle both physically and mentally.
After she was discharged, she had to take antibiotics for two weeks, and as she started to recover, she decided to take up walking in a bid to get fitter. Continuing in her bid to improve her fitness, Allison has now signed herself up for the London Marathon on April 23 to raise cash for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Allison, who is mum to three boys aged eight, 12 and 15, said her illness was terrifying and her recovery was made harder because it happened during the Covid pandemic so she was not allowed to have any visitors in hospital.
She said: "I was obviously terrified. I was in hospital on my own and had been told part of my bowel was turning septic and they had to operate or it would have led to sepsis and that’s when you know it’s life or death.
"My husband had to manage. He's got quite a supportive work that allowed him to work more from home and to be there for the children.
“There was no visiting allowed on the ward because it was still under Covid restrictions so that was a bit better for them because they didn't have to see me in that state but for me being in hospital and not having anyone visiting and not seeing my children for all them days was quite difficult.
“Although the surgery saved my life, I struggled to recover both physically and mentally. I was recovering through November and December (2021) and in January (2022) I started walking to get fit and I joined an online app where you log your mileage over the month.
“Towards the end of the summertime when I started thinking about what I could do to challenge myself. I’ve always wanted to do the London Marathon so I was like shall I apply and see what happens and I was pretty lucky to get a place.”
Allison has recovered by taking medication and she has not had any long-term impacts from the surgery. After she recovered she said that it affected her mentally more than physically as she was “shocked by it all” and thought about what could have gone wrong.
In January 2022 she started going out for walks, covering a mile or two at a time, and she started to enjoy being outside. She then progressed to jogging and over the last year she has challenged herself to run more and she is now training for the London Marathon.
She said:”I can’t wait. It's something where you can't imagine what the atmosphere is going to be like until you're there. To be there where the crowds are cheering and the band is playing I can't imagine what it's going to feel like.”
Allison has been doing a mixture of short runs with some speed training and longer runs in her local area. Over the weekend she said she did 12 miles in one go which is “quite an achievement”.
She decided to raise money for Macmillan because she wanted a charity “that means a lot to a lot of people”. Allison knows people who have had cancer and recovered and she said her son has a school friend who has leukaemia who is getting support through charities.
Allison believes Macmillan is a “really worthwhile cause to look at supporting” and so she has set up a Just Giving page. Her target is £2,500.
She started fundraising this year and has only raised £80 so far so she would like to raise awareness of her fundraising campaign. Allison understands that it is a “really tough time” due to the cost of living crisis but she hopes that “people start to dig deep in their pockets” to help her to raise money for Macmillan.
Donate to her JustGiving page here.