A mum-to-be told her family she was pregnant with twins only to wake from a coma hours later to discover she had two beautiful daughters – but was now disabled.
Carly O’Loughlin, 33, and husband, Jon, 36, fell pregnant and waited until after their holiday to tell loved ones.
But when they returned home from the break the next day Carly went to bed with a migraine and just ten hours later Jon found her fitting on the bathroom floor.
Carly was rushed to hospital still fitting – forcing doctors to deliver twins Roxy and Rae 14 weeks early by C-section.
They were born weighing under 2lbs each before doctors realised the mum-of-three had suffered a brain haemorrhage.
She was placed in a coma and when she woke up 24 hours later told doctors she couldn’t feel or move her right foot.
Medics discovered she had 100 blood clots in her leg and an eight-inch clot just 1cm away from heart.
She underwent emergency surgery and spent the next six weeks in hospital but doctors were unable to find the cause.
Carly, of Frome, Somerset, eventually left hospital with low mobility in one leg and using a wheelchair or a crutch for the rest of her life.
Now registered disabled and with Jon as her registered full-time carer, Carly says she has had her “independence stripped away”.
Carly, who was already a mum to boy Riley, said: ”I just feel like the worst mum in the world.
“There were things I could do with Riley that I’ll just never be able to do with the girls.
“It’s hard not being able to do things like take them out to the park and being able to drive and drop them off at nursery.
“If we would ever be out of nappies or anything for Riley I would just grab my keys, hop in the car and go.
“I’ve always suffered from migraines but I’ve never fitted before. I was perfectly healthy during my pregnancy.
“There were no warning signs that this was about to happen. Especially because I was just so young when it happened.
“I’m incredibly jealous that Jon gets to do stuff with the kids and I can’t because of how I am. In fact, I hate it.
“To go from being incredibly independent, social person with a good job to a person who can’t even have a bath or make a sandwich for yourself is really tough.
“Jon didn’t sign up for this when he married me. I’m just angry all the time and it really gets me upset.
“No body knows what is causing this. I’m still struggling with the term disabled if I’m honest.”
Jon and Carly discovered they were pregnant in December 2015 and five months later told family during a holiday at Haven Devon Cliffs Holiday Park.
Carly said: “I had a perfectly normal pregnancy with Riley. Our 20 week scan was delayed a few weeks so we just found out we were pregnant with twin girls a week.
“We already had our little boy so to get two girls on the way was a dream really. Our family knew we were having twins but didn’t know the sex.
“It was a really lovely weekend and everyone was really excited. The next day when we were driving back I could feel a migraine coming on.
“It wasn’t unusual as I’d get them every few weeks. I remember saying I was tired and going to bed and then the next time I woke up I found myself in a haze in hospital.
“Not only did I not experience giving birth to my twins but I’m not the mum I thought I’d be to them.”
Jon added: “When we got back Carly said she was going to go to bed it was nothing out of the ordinary.
“I got up early to have a bath and made sure I was up before Riley woke up. It must have been about a few minutes later when Carly rushed in being sick.
“At first I thought it may have been something to do with the pregnancy but then she just rolled to the floor.
“The only way I can describe it is that her face had faded in on itself. I had never seen anything quite like it. She was spitting blood at me.
“She was on the floor and I just made it my priority to get her into the recovery position.
“By time the ambulance came 15 minutes later she was snoring and it just didn’t sound human.”
Carly was rushed to the Bath hospital.
Jon said: “When I spoke to a doctor I was told ‘You’ll be lucky if one of the three survives’.
”They couldn’t stabilise Carly so they had to get the twins out. I got to see them a couple of hours later. They wouldn’t even fill a hand. They looked like chicken wings.”
As Jon held his newborn daughters – who weighed a tiny 1lb 12oz and 1lb 8lbs – wife Carly underwent a CT scan where doctors discovered she had a bleed on the brain.
She was put in an induced coma and sent to ICU at Southmead Hospital, Bristol.
Both Roxy and Rae were taken straight to the NICU at Bath Hospital before being transferred to the same hospital as their mum.
But 24 hours after being chemically induced, Carly’s body was fighting against the it and doctors decided to pull her out, telling Jon to prepare for the worst.
Jon said: “The doctors then went about putting Carly into a chemically induced coma as that would be the safest way to heel.
“Initially they said it would take weeks or months before she’d come round. It was all happening so fast.
“I went home to get a change of clothes and then one of the nurses came up to me and said one of the doctors had an update.
“Seeing as they told me 24 hours before that it would be weeks if not months before she came around I was fearing the worst.”
Carly said: “I just have no memory of giving birth. When I came round Jon was there and told me the girls had been born.
“I just began sobbing. I had no idea what was happening.
“I just wanted to go home but doctors needed to find out why I have the brain haemorrhage.
Carly was sent for angiogram but it came back inconclusive. She was told to stay in for rest.
Three days after the girls were born, Carly was able to see her two newborn daughters in the NICU unit.
Carly said: “They were just beautiful. It was strange to look at them knowing I had given birth and having no memory of it.
But when Carly went back to her hospital bed she noticed a strangle tingle in her right foot.
Had a scan where doctors found 100 clots in her leg and an eight-inch clot just 1cm away from heart so needed to be rushed to surgery.
The mum-of-three had an eight-hour operation which saw her doctors slicing her right leg open from her ankle to her knee to remove the blood clots.
Five months later doctors performed a second operation which required them to take a vein from her arm and use it to form a main artery in her leg.
But countless tests and hospital visits later, doctors are still baffled as to what caused the initial bleed on the brain and have left Carly without a formal diagnosis for three years.
She now spends her days in her mobility scooter or on crutches while husband-and-now-carer Jon cares for her and their three young kids.
Carly said: “I’m registered disabled because of the lack of mobility in my right leg. I’ve been back for so many tests but they all come back inconclusive.
“I’ve been told I’ll have to have it amputated at some point. My memory has been badly affected by the bleed on the brain. I have these periods where I just zone out.
“The most important thing for me has always been having a life with my kids. The girls are doing great and are hitting all the milestones. But doctors still don’t know why it happened in the first place or why.
“It’s frustrating to not only be a mum to my kids but for doctors not to know why this happened. I just want others to get help.”
Jon, a regional sales manager before he gave up work to care for Carly and the children, added: “I’m just glad after everything that has happened all three of them are here.”