Emma Tackles Bristol Half In Aid Of Mum

Entries for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon are open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/Bristol

A woman will take on a half marathon challenge to raise awareness about brain injuries after her mum suffered permanent damage to her brain due to a haemorrhage.

Emma Metherell, from Southville in Bristol, was left shocked when her mum Pauline Martin suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2014.

The incident was a huge shock to the family and occurred completely out of the blue when Pauline collapsed at her home in Cornwall.

She spent six weeks in a coma and six months in hospital after going through intense surgery to remove the bleed to her brain.

Despite being given a very poor chance of survival after the tragedy, Pauline managed to pull through despite the odds, following a successful operation.

Pauline was left permanently brain damaged and her doctors warned that her recovery would be extremely slow, with her having to learn how to walk and talk again.

Following her hospital stay, Emma and her step-dad Brian, 57, juggled their busy working lives around caring for Pauline, before they finally agreed that she should stay in residential care, where she received 24 hour care.

Pauline still suffers from short-term memory loss and struggles to remember anything that is not in the present moment.

Since her trauma, Emma and Brian decided that they also wanted to dedicate their time to raising awareness about the effects of brain injuries and the impact that it can have on families.

They have dedicated their time to running as many miles as they can in over the years, with Emma taking on her first half marathon in the process, the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon on Sunday 17 September.

Emma, 27, said: “Four years ago, my amazing Mum tragically suffered a severe brain haemorrhage and we were extremely lucky not to lose her.

“Against all of the odds, she managed to survive but she did not wake up for six weeks and we were warned that the damage would be unknown until she came round.

“Mum now lives in a 24 hour residential care centre as her quality of life was not the best at home and we found that her mental state was deteriorating.

“It was very difficult for us all to deal with as we were not professionals and we realised that having her at home was not in her best interests.

“Now she lives in a fantastic brain injury centre which means she gets the constant care she needs and we can still see her on evenings and weekends.

“She has lost most of her memory function, meaning she can only live in the present moment, which is a horrible and extremely frustrating thing for her and her family, but it brings us comfort knowing she is in such a brilliant centre.

“Brian and I wanted to do something to help support other families who are in a similar position to us and so we decided to take up a running challenge.

“We hope to run as many miles as we can this year in aid of Brain Injury Matters to raise awareness about the affects of what happened to Mum.”

Emma and Brian will join over 10,000 others for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon on a scenic route that makes the most of the city’s picturesque backdrop.

The city centre run has become a long-held tradition in the sporting calendar, starting and finishing in Bristol’s historic harbourside.

The sea-level route takes runners along the stunning Avon Gorge, passing under the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge twice before returning to the city centre.

The pair hope to be able to inspire people who have been affected by a brain injury to help rebuild their lives and to reach their full potential.

Emma, who works in recruitment, added: “I never used to run a lot so I knew that when Brian suggested we sign up to run a half marathon, it would be a huge challenge for me.

“It was important to do something challenging so that we could raise as much money and awareness about the impacts of brain injury as possible.

“ISL Bristol, the company I work for, thought it was a great idea and we now have a team of six who are taking on the event in support of Brain Injury Matters.”

Support Emma’s and Brian’s fundraising here.

Entries for the Simplyhealth Great Bristol Half Marathon are open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/Bristol