Pregnant nurse’s fight for life after ‘headache’
It started with a simple headache but now a pregnant Brisbane nurse must undergo two delicate brain surgeries to protect her life and her unborn miracle baby.
Jaylee Clayton and her husband Josh were planning the most joyful chapter of their lives when the unthinkable happened.
The 29-year-old nurse was at work on January 18 when she had to lie down with a headache.
Minutes later she was unconscious and a co-worker was performing CPR.
An aneurysm had ruptured in her brain.
Ms Clayton was rushed to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, where she was put into an induced coma and hooked up to life support.
Scans revealed a second aneurysm, which doctors now have to carefully operate on, before it too ruptures.
"It was horrendous, it was really unexpected and we didn't realise the severity until we arrived at the hospital and she was already in that coma" Sister Kara Geale said.
"We were told by the neurosurgeon that night that she was unlikely to survive."
But the medicos underestimated Ms Clayton's fighting spirit, with the young mum-to-be brought out of her induced coma last week.
Ms Clayton and her unborn son, who she fell pregnant with after three IVF attempts, have now been moved out of the intensive care unit, but their biggest fight is yet to come.
In the coming weeks neurosurgeons will have to operate to replace a piece of missing skull that was removed to alleviate severe brain swelling.
Once that swelling subsides surgery to treat the second aneurysm will be performed through Ms Clayton's groin, to minimise further risk to her brain.
Ms Geale said her sister had been diagnosed with aphasia, a speech impairment caused by brain injury, and is currently unable to speak.
"She can't recognise her own name or anything like that, but I think she knows our faces when we get in," Ms Geale said.
Husband Josh Clayton described his wife as "the world's most loving, caring person".
"It shows through her work, her bosses, her clients, there's not a person in the world who would say anything bad about her," he said.
"She is just a pure soul with nothing but positivity.
"Even now I can see in her eyes how frustrated she is, but she will keep fighting."
The Kallangur couple, who have been together for 12 years, recently announced they were expecting their first baby after undergoing fertility treatment.
"Josh does not leave her beside, he's there day and night, 24/7," Ms Geale said.
Doctors told family that there is hope that both Ms Clayton and her baby will recover.
"They've got high hopes but they have said to us that Jaylee's life in the event of an emergency becomes the priority, they're obviously caring for both at the same time, "Ms Geale said.
"She faces a long road for recovery."
Relatives have set up a Go Fund Me to raise money for the young family's bills, while Mr Clayton has time off work to support his wife and unborn son.
"In times like this, they're not thinking about those costs," Ms Geale said.
Mr Clayton, who works as a self-employed painter, said he is "overwhelmed" with the outpouring of support from family and friends.
To support the Clayton family: https://www.gofundme.com/f/jaylees-recovery-support.
Originally published as Pregnant nurse's fight for life after 'headache'