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Mum-of-four, 39, dies of rare stroke after waking with ‘horrific’ headache

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Mum-of-four, 39, dies of rare stroke after waking with ‘horrific’ headache and screaming ‘get an ambulance’ during family caravan holiday in Wales

  • Clare Machin, 39, from Huyton, Merseyside, died on October 29 in hospital
  • She fell ill on a caravan break in north Wales when she woke up with a headache
  • Doctors said she had suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage in her brain










A mother-of-four collapsed and died after screaming for an ambulance while on holiday.

Clare Machin, 39, from Huyton, Merseyside, died on October 29, nearly two weeks after she fell ill on a caravan break in north Wales.

She was enjoying a weekend away with her partner and her 11-year-old son, Alfie, when she woke up with an agonising headache.

Clare’s cousin, Jacquie Gaffney, 52, said: ‘She had woke up with a horrific pain in her head. She screamed: ‘Get an ambulance’ before she collapsed and started fitting.’

Clare was taken to Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan and then transferred to Royal Stoke University Hospital where she underwent two operations in a bid to save her life.

Clare Machin, 39, from Huyton, Merseyside, died on October 29 in hospital after falling ill

Clare Machin, 39, from Huyton, Merseyside, died on October 29 in hospital after falling ill

Doctors told the family Clare had suffered a ‘catastrophic event’ in her brain called a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

According to the NHS, a subarachnoid haemorrhage is an ‘uncommon type of stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain. It’s a very serious condition and can be fatal.’

The main symptoms of the condition include a stiff neck, sickness, sensitivity to light, loss of consciousness or convulsions and ‘a sudden severe headache unlike anything you’ve experienced before’.

Despite doctors’ best efforts to save her, Clare died on October 29, nearly two weeks after she was admitted to hospital.

Clare had been on a caravan break in north Wales when she woke up with a serious headache

Clare had been on a caravan break in north Wales when she woke up with a serious headache 

Rare stroke caused by strain that can kill 

 A subarachnoid haemorrhage is caused by a bleed on the brain’s surface and is a kind of stroke.

They are rare and up to 1 in a thousand people have them every year.

It is an extremely serious condition and there can be no warning signs when it happens.

The NHS says some instances can occur during physical effort or straining, such as coughing or lifting something heavy.

Main symptoms to look out for are a sudden bad headache, stiff neck, feeling and being sick and light sensitivity.

Other tell-tale signs can be slurred speech, weakness on one side of the body and losing consciousness or having a seizure.

If you think you are having a subarachnoid haemorrhage you should ring 999 straight away, because they are a medical emergency.

The family agreed for Clare’s organs to be donated to help save others.

Jacquie said: ‘She was very, very poorly. They said even if Clare did get through, she probably wouldn’t have been the Clare we knew.’

The family, including Clare’s parents and her four sons – Jack, 19, Harry, 17, Alfie, 11, and Oscar, three, are said to be devastated by the sudden loss.

Jacquie said: ‘We’re just all in shock, I’m up and down. It’s not the natural order of things.

‘She was full of life – a lovely and brilliant mum. She absolutely adored her boys. She’s going to miss their weddings, their 21sts.’

Clare’s funeral took place on November 17 at St Gabriel’s Church in Huyton followed by the crematorium in St Helens.

Clare’s sister, Vicki, said: ‘The most kind and caring person. She looked after everyone and loved her family so much. 

‘Her boys were her world and everything she did was for them. She loved to take the boys on holiday.

‘They were always camping and when they weren’t they were planning the next trip.

‘She will be missed by her family on both sides, Machins and Gradys.’

Jacquie added: ‘Clare loved butterflies. When her organs were donated, that gave comfort to her family.

‘It was like the butterfly effect, something she would have wanted.’

A fundraising page has been set up to help Clare’s children following her death.

To donate, visit: https://gofund.me/51c1655f  

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