A mother who suffered a near fatal brain haemorrhage has put her miraculous recovery down to these rugby heroes.
Melanie Sanderson, from Bispham, suffered a massive bleed on the brain in June 2013 that left her needing a permanent titanium coil in her brain.
Doctors had said the extent of the injuries mean the 46-year-old is lucky to be alive, but she credits her recovery to rugby mad son Tom, 22, husband Allan, 53, and their teammates at Blackpool Rugby Club.
Now three of the team are preparing to take on a charity challenge to support others with brain injuries.
Players Tom Sanderson, Jason King and Darren Hardy-Dearness will be driving a P reg Vauxhall Astra in the Benidorm Or Bust rally – a five day trek from Blackpool to the Spanish coast – on April 30.
Melanie, who is club secretary, said: “I woke up in the night with a headache and started throwing up and then had a brain aneurysm.
“I was taken to Blackpool Vic where they scanned me then sent me straight to Preston Royal for an operation.
“They put a titanium coil in my head, where the aneurysm was, to block it.
“The specialist said I was so, so lucky to be alive, if I’d just gone back to sleep I wouldn’t have woken up.
“And the amount of blood I’d lost they were amazed I even woke up but I’m already about 95 per cent back to what I was. I feel blessed to be alive.”
After 10 days in intensive care Melanie, district manager for William Hill, had to start on the road to recovery.
She added: “I’ve been involved with the club for 15 years but after the aneurysm I was very withdrawn.
“I was a mess, very emotional and I couldn’t walk, but the lads pushed me to get better.”
Now the team are preparing to drive the 1,500 mile rally in a 20-year-old car that already has 143,000 miles on the clock.
All money they raise will be donated to Headway, which provides support, services and information to brain injury survivors and their families.
Darren said: “Melanie has made a miraculous recovery so we felt it would be worthwhile to assist those who continue to struggle with brain injuries.”
Melanie added: “It’s fantastic what they’re doing.
“I feel like I’ve got a second life now so I hope the money raised will help other people to be able to carry on living their lives after brain injuries.”
To support the Benidorm or Bust rally effort, contact Darren on 07852 216316