A Poole woman is fundraising to support the critical care unit where she woke up after missing a week of her life.

Retired midwife Joy Marston, 66, from Upton, fell ill at home at the end of March.

The last thing she remembers is giving a paramedic “quite short shrift” then falling down stairs.

She woke up a week later in Poole Hospital ’s Critical Care unit to discover she had been close to death.

Joy was put into a medically induced coma and ventilated.

Doctors initially treated for meningitis, which wasn’t the right diagnosis.

They carried out various investigations and fought to stabilise her as her organs and systems faltered.

They think she had a heart attack at some point but still don’t know exactly what made her so ill.

Eventually Joy was woken up on April 1.

“I had no idea where I was or what had happened,” she added. “It was quite frightening – really quite scary. They did try to explain it as best they could and I thought there’s nothing I can do – just go with it.”

Joy has since pieced the missing time back together with the help of the clinicians and with support from ICU Steps.

“It’s very strange somebody else knowing what has happened to you and you not,” she added.

After a few more days in critical care, and another three weeks in hospital, Joy was able to go home. Now recovered from her ordeal she wants to give something back to the unit which saved her life.

She is hoping to raise £1,400 for new furniture and carpeting for the ICU waiting room where her husband Tony and daughter Sharon spent so much time “I can’t better the care the staff give on critical care – they are amazing. I just wanted to make a difference for people going through that experience,” she added.

“I don’t have the words to say thank you appropriately, so I thought I’d get up and do something.”

Joy is holding a fashion show at Parkstone Grammar School on October 29 from 7pm, with clothing from Travelling Trends, with some of the ICU nurses modelling.

There will also be stalls selling cakes, candles and cards among other things.

Tickets at £7 are available from the Poole Hospital Charity, or from Joy on 07757 985930 or daughter Sharon on 07828 124773 or sharonmccallum@yahoo.com