There are many things that are common among patients recovering from critical illness, but when you're going through it yourself it feels like no one understands you. That's why the motto of ICUsteps is empathy, not sympathy. Talking to someone who truly understands you can be a great relief and that’s where follow-up or drop-ins can be so helpful, but even just knowing there are other people out there who know what you've been through can help. This section includes the experiences of patients recovering from and coming to terms with a critical illness.

If you’re recovering from being in intensive care, writing down your own experiences, memories and feelings can help. It lets you put events in order, start to piece together what happened and begin to make more sense of things. This can be a helpful way of come to terms with what you’ve been through.

It’s a worthwhile thing to do even if you don't want to share them with anyone else, but if you've been through intensive care and would like to share your experience with others please get in touch and let us know.


by Default admin account on 21-Jun-10 19:45
I have been married over 30 years have 2 children a son of 28 with his own home and life and a daughter of 19 a student with a busy social life. We were all trying to get on with life after the birth and death of our first grandchild, my sons' daughter, realising Christmas was only 3 weeks away I was trying to do what mum's do to get Christmas for the family…


by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 20:32
In March 2010 I came down with a nasty stomach bug whilst on holiday in France. By the time I got home a few days later I felt weak and feverish; my chest was aching. I spent 2 days in bed at home thinking I had a bad dose of man-flu. But my respiratory rate then started to climb and my wife took me to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford…

Barbara B

by Default admin account on 10-Apr-10 16:12
On the morning of 17th July 2007 I was particularly happy. Summer Term had just ended so I had 6 weeks of holiday from my Teaching Assistant job ahead, my husband was coming back from a 3 week research visit to Australia on Friday and my first grandchild was due in August. Life seemed very good…

Barbara T

by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 20:43
I have been a brittle asthmatic since early childhood but the severity and frequency of attacks has increased over the past 14 years, resulting in several ventilated episodes in ICU. Some of the admissions have been comparatively uneventful whilst others have been more traumatic for both myself and those close to me…


by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 19:36
I was admitted to the Conquest Hospital on 18th December 2010 with breathing problems (I had been to my GP a few days earlier with a chest infection)...


by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 20:46
My journey began in December 2000. At this point in my life I was five days over my expected date of delivery. The baby I was due to have had taken four years to conceive, I already had two sons from a previous relationship…


by Default admin account on 09-Mar-13 12:09
In 2003, I was admitted to hospital with broncho-pneumonia and respiratory failure. Following a tracheotomy, I was in intensive care for four weeks in an induced coma…


by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 19:21
I contracted meningoencephalitis in late April 2012 (the 24th to be exact). We had had a great weekend with friends and perhaps a bit too much alcohol.


by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 18:55
Looking back on the events of 12 months ago it seems almost impossible to me that I came so close to dying, and that so many terrible things actually happened to me. Maybe that is partly because I have no personal recollection of anything, certainly not lucidly, until after the worst was over…


by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 19:14
Life changing. Inspiring. Enlightening. All words you think would describe a 'near death' experience. You would expect to wake up every morning grateful to be alive. You would never argue with your partner/children again as you were just so happy to be with them. Like you'd been given another chance at life. Whilst lying in CCU (Critical Care Unit) I remember saying to Ben my husband "that's it, no more rowing" as well as " I'm going to eat healthy, exercise make the most of my life, do what I've always wanted to do" Well 10 months on and I haven't stuck to any of it...


by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 20:53
I woke up July 13th 2010 with a racing heart beat, I put on my heart rate monitor i wear for the gym and had a heart rate of 203, stupidly I got ready for work and drove the 30 miles to work…


by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 19:03
I have very little recollection of how I entered the A&E Department of Milton Keynes General Hospital and ending up in ICU. Late evening on Saturday 25th October I do remember ringing my daughter Serena twice and leaving messages on her answerphone asking for her help…


by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 19:08
The last thing I remember from before my accident was being at a Placebo gig at Brixton Academy the night before and advising my friend to buy a concert t-shirt because he'd never have the chance again. That was the last memory I had…


by Default admin account on 12-Apr-10 20:13
"Sickness will surely take your mind where minds can't usually go;."
Pete Townsend – Tommy (1969)