Broken Hearted

Stuff that matters

A personal trainer who nearly died from pneumonia on a trip to Vietnam has finally returned home – 15 months after setting off and a year in a Scottish hospital.

Mekala Osborne was given a five per cent chance of survival after she fell ill with bronchial pneumonia in the Southeast Asian country last September.

The 23-year-old spent more than 100 days in an induced coma and was moved to a specialist hospital in Singapore – before being transported to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in November 2019.

Mekala underwent eight months of gruelling recovery at Astley Ainslie Hospital in Edinburgh and described her ordeal as ‘a blessing’, saying she ‘loved every moment’ of rehab.

But she was delighted to be reunited with her family in time for Christmas yesterday and was welcomed home by around 150 friends and neighbours.

Emotional Mekala, from Wallyford, East Lothian, became tearful when she saw her family home decorated with hundreds of yellow bows, contributed by well-wishers.

Mekala, who is using crutches to help her walk, told STV news: “I’ve loved every second of being in rehab.

“ICU was harder because I wasn’t that well but rehab was amazing.

“To see myself go from strength to strength and learn everything that I did learn.

“I learned so much about myself as well that I never would have known if this didn’t happen.

“It’s been a blessing.”

She only began breathing unaided in March and took her first steps in July.

Describing the effort put into her welcome home party, she said: “It was definitely a moment I’ll remember.

“I’ll remember everybody’s face that I saw when I was looking round.

“It was amazing, an incredible feeling.

“To be walking back through the doors and have my family just here and all my friends, everybody who supported me, it’s unreal.”

Proud mum Yvonne said: “I saw her go in those doors in an ambulance, still fighting for her life, and she walked out of there on crutches with the biggest smile.

“As soon as she got in the car, that was it, cuddles.”

Family friend Angela Thompson, 52, organised the homecoming on social media.

Angela said: “Mekala’s story touched everybody’s heart – a young girl who was just going away on holiday and had this attack.

“It took me four days to put the bows onto each net.

“We tied each bow onto the nets individually, then went on top of the house’s car port with a ladder and tied the nets to the gutter with cable ties.

“When we saw Mekala’s face, it was so worth it. She was actually speechless.

“It was just magical. To see the family together again, it was lovely.

“And she wasn’t expecting to see the house covered in yellow ribbons. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.”