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A brain condition leaves a Cornish woman with next to no memory

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Published by Emma Carton at 7:27am 22nd February 2019. (Updated at 12:27pm 22nd February 2019)

A Cornish woman reveals how she woke up with next to no memory because of a severe brain condition.

Frances Geall from Falmouth had to be put in a coma for eight days when she was diagnosed with encephalitis.

Now the 25-year-old is supporting World Encephalitis Day, after having to learn to walk and talk all over again.

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A Cornish woman has described being left with next to no memory after battling a severe brain condition

Fran's Story

Frances Geall from Falmouth, a marine biologist, had just landed her dream job when her life changed forever.

The 25-year-old's battle with encephalitis means she now suffers from seizures almost every other day.

Fran had so little memory when she woke from her coma, she could not even remember her niece and nephew.

"It was very hard but also very sad because I missed a lot of their lives".

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Fran Geall, who lives in Falmouth, was put in a coma for eight days after being diagnosed with encephalitis

"It's quite horrific actually. I have seizures every other day and I can't be independent at all, because of the risk of having seizures.

"My emotions were unaffected, it's just all my memories and abilities that are.

"When I realised I had had the dream job but couldn't do it any more, that was a really hard-hitting thing to come to terms with".

Frances Geall

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Fran is raising awareness on World Encephalitis Day after having to learn to walk and talk all over again

What is encephalitis and what are the symptoms?

Encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, is a neurological condition that affects over 6,000 people a year in the UK.

The condition has a high death rate and can leave survivors with a severe brain injury.

According to the NHS website, it often starts with flu-like symptoms like a temperature or headache.

However, the health service says that the above symptoms do not always occur.

It goes on to describe the more serious symptoms that can develop over hours, days or weeks:

  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Seizures (fits)
  • Changes in personality and behaviour
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Weakness or loss of movement in some parts of the body
  • Loss of consciousness

The advice is to dial 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone else has these more serious symptoms.

You can read more advice here.

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