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

The family of a man who lost half his skull after collapsing in a Tesco supermarket have thanked the staff who helped save him.

Karl Hawkins, 36, was out shopping with a friend in the store in Leigh when he collapsed in the first aisle on April 24 last year.

The 36-year-old suffered a devastating brain haemorrhage and was later placed into a coma for eight weeks.

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

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

Jackie, 61, told the Manchester Evening News: « When I walked in, I saw him and I told my eldest son I didn’t think he would survive.

“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.

0 Karl Hawkins 02
The 36-year-old suffered a devastating brain haemorrhage and was later placed into a coma for eight weeks

He was rushed to Salford Royal Hospital for an operation to stop the bleed on his brain but doctors then found two more aneurysms the next day.

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.

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

The 61-year-old said: “When it happened, doctors told us to prepare for the worst over the next couple of days.

“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 was eventually discharged at the end of August 2020.

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

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Karl collapsed in a Tesco store in Leigh

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”.

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