Man who lost half his skull after collapsing in Tesco thanks staff who helped saved his life


The family of a man who almost died after suffering a brain haemorrhage in Tesco have thanked staff who helped save him.

Karl Hawkins was out shopping with a friend on April 24 last year when his life changed forever.

The healthy 36-year-old had only reached the first isle of the Derby Street store in Leigh when he fell to the floor.

He had suffered a devastating brain haemorrhage which would see him slip into a coma for eight weeks.

Karl’s mother, Jackie Chadwick, rushed to the store after learning what had happened.

She described seeing her son lying helplessly on the ground as “horrifying”.

“When I walked in, I saw him and I told my eldest son I didn’t think he would survive,” she told the Manchester Evening News.

“I didn’t think I was going to see him walk again.

“It was horrifying.”

Quick-thinking Tesco staff immediately rushed to Karl’s aid by placing a pillow under his head and dialling 999.



Karl before he fell ill
Karl before he fell ill

He was rushed to Salford Royal Hospital for an operation to stop the bleed on his brain.

The following morning, doctors found two more aneurysms.

Karl, from Leigh, then had most of the left side of his skull removed to help relieve the pressure.

Following the operation, he was placed into a coma for eight weeks.



Karl lost half his skull due to the haemorrhage
Karl lost half his skull due to the haemorrhage

During this time, Jackie was unable to visit her son to be by his side.

“When it happened, doctors told us to prepare for the worst over the next couple of days,” Jackie, 61, continued.

“There was no warning whatsoever.

“It was horrible. I don’t think I stopped crying for three days.”

Karl was transferred to Trafford General Hospital and eventually discharged at the end of August 2020.

But while at home, he suffered 10 seizures from November to February this year.

Thankfully, the seizures have now stopped and Karl, who worked at Wetherspoons before falling ill, can now continue his road to recovery.

His family say his memory has been affected and he is unable to move the left side of his body properly.

He has recently been able to hold a knife and fork again for the first time – something his family have described as a major achievement.

Following his release from hospital, he moved into his mother’s address where she has become his full-time carer.

A friend has since decided to help Karl with funds by running 101 miles in 24 hours.

He will aim to run from Carlisle to Leigh to raise funds in order to “make Karl’s life a little easier”.

For more information, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jay-kenny.