Harpenden mum celebrates recovery from brain damage by running London Marathon

Becky Gainey

Becky Gainey - Credit: Archant

A Harpenden mum is tackling the London Marathon to celebrate pulling through a life-devastating brain haemorrhage twenty years ago.

Becky Gainey having a frame screwed onto her head after the haemorrhage.

Becky Gainey having a frame screwed onto her head after the haemorrhage. - Credit: Archant

Becky Gainey is hoping to raise £3,000 for the Brain and Spine Foundation - who support people affected by neurological injuries.

When she was 18, Becky was rushed to hospital with a severe headache, a sensation like “bleeding behind the ears”, and having collapsed on the bathroom floor.

What turned out to be a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage robbed university-bound Becky of the ability to read, write, walk, retain facts, and the last four years of memories.

She had been a 10 A* student and destined to attend Royal Holloway University of London to study French and drama, but instead had to spend a year reconstructing her life.

Becky said: “It was more factual things, I could talk about food and what my day was like but I couldn’t remember names and I couldn’t read at all.

“It was really frustrating because I knew I knew [college friends], but couldn’t remember how.”

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After a year of intense work, Becky still went to Royal Holloway and achieved a first class degree.

“I am so lucky. It’s so rare to recover from this. It’s unusual for a young person to have a haemorrhage and to recover unscathed is unusual.”

She became a successful actress, touring with Shakespeare companies and starring as Alice in a production of Alice Through the Looking Glass.

The 39-year-old said: “I’m running the London Marathon to raise money for the Brain and Spine Foundation - a wonderful charity, entirely funded by voluntary donations.

“They help to improve the quality of life for people living with neurological conditions and provide support for their families.”

Adding: “Twenty years on and I’ve decided to celebrate my survival by doing something positive to help others who are going through similar challenges.”

The charity supports more than 350 conditions, including stokes, tumours, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, meningitis and MS.

She noted: “It is going to be a real challenge for me so any sponsorship would be gratefully received.”

Donate at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BeckyGainey1