A dad who had a third of his skull removed following a severe stroke has had it rebuilt with a ceramic plate in a pioneering operation.
Marc Morris, 59, underwent the drastic surgery to prevent his brainstem pushing out the base of his skull following his collapse.
The dad-of-three was found unconscious at his computer by his wife Jayne, 59, at their home in Craven Arms, Shrops., last September.
The telecommunications worker had complained about a headache earlier that day but blamed it on a migraine or Covid.
Days after his stroke, doctors became concerned about his brain swelling so cut out pieces of his skull to relieve the pressure.
Marc spent nearly seven months in hospital recovering but was left wheelchair bound and suffering seizures.
In June, medics at Royal Stoke University Hospital reconstructed his head shape using a high-tech ceramic plate to allow the skin to fuse together.
Recalling the days before his stroke, Marc said: “I was very active, I was very fit. The week beforehand I was doing mountain biking in Wales.
“I was working from home here and on my laptop, I just felt odd. I had Covid for four days. On the day itself I had a migraine coming. I thought it was the Covid.”
His wife Jayne said: “Marc didn’t realize he was having a stroke. I phoned him up at 12 and he said he was having a migraine.
“I checked on him later after I didn’t hear from him and it was obvious he was having a stroke.
“The ambulance took him to the local hospital.
“He was in there for three-and-a-half days and they told me that he needed lifesaving surgery to remove about a third of his skull.
“They told me without the surgery he definitely would die, his brainstem was sinking.
“I asked if Marc would survive the operation, they answered back ‘we will try our best’ which is code for ‘we don’t know’.
“He was giving assisted breathing. They took him up to the Royal Stoke Hospital.
“The surgeon phoned me and said that he was ready and waiting in theatre.
“We were all in just absolute shock. Every phone call we received it was Marc just
getting worse or worse.
“As we traveled up by family to Stoke, we didn’t know if he was alive.”
Despite suffering a huge seizure days after the operation, Marc pulled through and he was moved to a community hospital nearer his home.
In March this year he was finally deemed fit enough to return home while he waited for a further operation to rebuild his skull.
Jayne added: “By the time Marc got home he was able to sit up, but needed help with everything.
“The stroke affected Marc’s eyesight. All the things he liked doing like reading a book and using his phone.
“His eyesight doesn’t register the left side of his visual field. Marc only sees the right side of his vision.”
Marc added: “My brain didn’t recognize my leg.
“One of the difficulties was, because my brain wasn’t properly supported, any change
of pressure or vibration made me feel nauseous. I had a permanent headache.
“It was a real shock, I got home and I was imprisoned in my wheelchair. I had brief depressive thoughts.”
In June Marc underwent a six-hour op to have a ceramic plate fitted into his head to encourage the skin to fuse around it.
The damage to his brain means he feels vibrations keenly, making using an indoor wheelchair on the outside very difficult.
His family are now trying to raise around £18,000 to buy a specialist wheelchair for Marc to use outside with limits vibrations.
Marc said: “It will help, and it means that I will no longer be stuck in my house.
“It will enable me to get out into the countryside as where we live is quite remote.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker