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EP 72: Isobel Tamati - Back from the brink of Death

An inspiring story of love and determination to beat the odds.

Show Notes –

Isobel had an aneurysm and a massive stroke two and a half years ago and was critical for weeks and was not expected to survive. 

Due to a medical blunder by the receiving Doctor in the emergency ward it took 18 hours to get into surgery. 

Waited 6 hours in the emergency department waiting room as the doctor believed she had a migraine.  Got a paramedic friend to help her.  Finally got a CT Scan – and saw that there was massive bleeding on the brain.  Then went to Wellington Hospital for the surgery.  Had a stent put into her brain to drain the blood.  Also put a coil into the brain to stop the bleeding.  Spent the next month in and out of ICU fighting for her life.  Having brain spasms and losing consciousness. 

Spent three months in hospital in total.  One month in Wellington and two months in New Plymouth. 

After pushing from Lisa she was tested and diagnosed with severe sleep apnoea and put on oxygen.  Lisa started studying hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Isobel finds it astounding to hear the whole story as she was unconscious and unaware of a lot of it.    

She had no memory, she couldn’t speak, she couldn’t control any functions in her body. 
Her first memory was inside the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.  Took her down to 1 ½ atmospheres which is ideal for brain injury.  Given 100% medical grade oxygen which hyper oxygenates the body.  You can take up to 7 time the normal amount of oxygen.  Also permeates the blood brain barrier faster. 

Isobel said that it is isn’t painful but you do have to be very patient.  She is able to take her iPad in with her and she listens to podcasts. 

Life is now back to complete normal most of the time.  But there are still some areas where she struggles.  She can do everything but it takes twice of long and there is a lot of effort required. 
She can walk slowly for a 1 km now.  She has had to relearn all the normal movement patterns. 
Because of her age doctors were not confident she would be able to be fully rehabilitated.   
One of the keys to that process of having parallel bars.  They were gifted to them by a family friend.  Spend a good hour on the bars per day. 

Her biggest success to date is that she got her drivers licence back.  Lisa felt it was important that Isobel could feel in control of own destine which driving would give her.  Still working towards full independence but definitely working towards that.  Her goal is to be healthier than she was before. 
Goes to the gym five days a week.  Lifting weights.  You lose muscle mass and bone density because of the lack of movement at first.   She has just had a bone density test and she is off the scales high. 

It is important when you are older to face challenges.  Isobel says she needed someone to help to push her.  She had to be relentless in her training because that is the only way back.  When you let things go it is a long way back.  To take away the goals and achievements it to die.  We need to feel like we are going forward.  Let’s make the most out of every day.  It is the discipline of today that helps us to be stronger tomorrow. 

Rest and recovery is important too but in a rhythm with working out. 

Never give up.  You don’t know how far you can go. 

A few months into her recovery she crewed with Lisa when she ran across the North Island with her husband and business partner to raise money for a friend’s charity.  That friend, who has previously appeared on the podcast, died in an accident during a half marathon. 

Lisa is currently writing a book about her Mum’s recovery. 

We would like to thank our show sponsors

The North Face -

Premier Outdoor equipment specialists who have been kitting out adventurers around the world for the past 50 years. 

Specialists in trail running gear - Check out their full range at www.thenorthface.co.nz

Running Hot Coaching:

The online training platform run by Lisa Tamati and Neil Wagstaff. 

Do you have a dream to run a big race, maybe a half marathon, a marathon or even an ultramarathon?

Have you struggled to fit in the training in your busy life?

Maybe you don't know where to start or perhaps you have done a few races but keep having motivation or injuries troubles?

Do you want to beat last years time or finish at the front of the pack?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then we can help you.

We promise to get you to the start line in the best shape ever! We will give you the benefit of our years of knowledge and experience in competing and training athletes, so you can avoid the mistakes, train efficiently, have fun and stay in optimal health while you are doing it.

So who are we?

Lisa Tamati is an a professional ultramarathon runner with over 25 years experiences racing the world's toughest endurance events and leading expeditions. Author of two internationally published running adventure books. She is also a mindset expert. From crossing the Libyan desert on foot to running Death Valley to running the length of NZ for charity, she has been there and done that. For more information on Lisa click here: www.lisatamati.com

Neil Wagstaff is an exercise scientist, coach and ultramarathon runner with over 22 years experience in the health and fitness industry. He has trained hundreds of athletes and coaches alike to the successful completion of their goals.  For more info or to download our free run training ecourse go to www.runninghotcoaching.com/running-success

Training Tilt software - a complete toolkit for trainers, health and fitness professionals, coaches and nutritionists, combine your website, ecommerce needs, client communication and training plans into one easy to use platform. Find out more at www.lisatamati.com
The Path of an Athlete - Mindset academy. An in-depth online programme that teaches you how to develop mental toughness, resilience, leadership skills, a never quit mentality, mental wellbeing and the keys for success in anything you set your mind to.

Do you wish you had the mental toughness of an extreme athlete?

Do you seek the confidence to deal with any threat, to steer any situation or challenge to a positive outcome?

If so, you can now learn the secrets to mental toughness and to developing a never quit mindset from someone who has been there and done that and lived to tell the tale.
For more information go to www.lisatamati.com

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