Wednesday 18 October 2017

Coma recovery woman's book released

Alexandra Singer taught herself to write again after spending three months in a coma (University of Manchester/PA)
Alexandra Singer taught herself to write again after spending three months in a coma (University of Manchester/PA)

A woman who spent three months in a coma is due to see the debut novel she had completely forgotten she was writing appear in print.

Alexandra Singer, 29, suffered memory loss after a near-fatal attack of cerebral lupus in 2008 and had no idea she had begun work on the book.

She was told by doctors she might never be able to walk again and spent months fighting paralysis in hospital by breathing through a tracheotomy tube.

While in hospital, her brother Joshua found the notes to the novel, Tea At The Grand Tazi, while clearing out her London flat.

Ms Singer, from Cheadle, Greater Manchester, then taught herself to write again as she returned to the book.

She said: "My experience was horrendous. The doctors thought I would be brain-damaged and for six months I was paralysed and couldn't speak. But it was the book that helped me to pull through. I apparently had the idea before the illness but was too busy working to write it. I was excited when my brother brought the script to me in hospital and the prospect of finishing it inspired me to relearn to write."

The former trainee corporate lawyer is currently studying for a Master's degree in healthcare law and ethics at the University of Manchester's School of Law. She is also continuing to undergo physiotherapy in the hope of walking again.

She said: "I am so lucky to have such a supportive family and to have an amazing university on my doorstep. They thought I was going to die but have supported me in every way. I still have spasticity in my legs. The doctors still don't know what they are dealing with though I am not in pain any more.

"If I wasn't so bored with it all, I suppose I would be scared. If I walk again, I will take the next plane to Brazil. Travelling was something I loved to do. But I cannot live without writing and I am so relieved to have recovered full movement in my hands."

Tea At The Grand Tazi - published next month - is set in Marrakech, Morocco, and follows a young expat Maia who struggles to take control of her life after succumbing to the seedy underbelly of the city.

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