Scottish fitness instructor who nearly died from killer virus in Cambodia describes relearning to walk

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A Scottish fitness instructor who had only a 5% chance of survival after being struck by a deadly virus in Cambodia told how she learned to walk again.Mekala Osborne was placed in an induced coma after falling ill with a forest virus while on vacation in Vietnam in September last year.

The 22-year-old was so severely ill with pneumonia that her mother Yvonne and stepfather Jimmy, of Prestonpans, near Edinburgh, were asked to ‘pray that she survives’.



Mekala was struck by a forest virus on a trip last year

Mekala was brought back to Edinburgh after two months of hospitalization in Singapore and has spent the last seven months working on her rehabilitation.

She told the BBC: “I had lost feeling in my arms and legs. They cut off part of my lung.

“I had a tracheostomy. I couldn’t speak for four months and a little, which was difficult for me because I love to talk. “

Mekala was in the Royal Edinburgh Infirmary from November to March and was able to see family and friends whenever she wanted. But when the lockdown hit, she said her isolation had “had a negative impact” on her recovery.

She said: “My recovery has been very difficult. I missed my mom so much and felt lost. “

She finally reunited with her mother Yvonne for the first time in July and after 289 days since the last time she was up she has started learning to walk again.



Mekala and her mom Yvonne

She said, “On my first walk, I hiked the length of the gym. It was amazing to be able to walk again and regain that independence.

“I got closer to some of the staff and felt really motivated with them all around me to do well and make them proud of all the work they had done. ”

Makela believes she spent a few months in rehab before returning home, but already intends to return to the sport she loves.

She said, “I would love to start playing hockey again. It’s my aim. Even though it takes five years, I don’t care. I will work as hard as possible so that I can get back to the field. again. “

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