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Fitness instructor is learning to walk again after catching deadly virus in Vietnam

Fitness instructor is learning how to walk again after being given a five per cent chance of survival when catching deadly virus in Vietnam

  • Mekala Osborne, 22, is learning how to walk again after contracting a virus 
  • Mekala contracted a forest virus while visiting Vietnam in September last year 
  • She was critically ill with pneumonia and was only given a 5% chance of survival
  • The fitness instructor, from Edinburgh, took her first steps in July after 289 days

A fitness instructor, who was given a five per cent chance of survival after contracting a deadly virus in Vietnam, has been learning how to walk again.

Mekala Osborne become ill after catching a forest virus in Vietnam, while touring south-east Asia with a friend, in September last year.

The 22-year-old initially developed minor symptoms of a cold and took cough lozenges to treat it, but was admitted to hospital after her condition rapidly worsened.

Mekala, from Prestonpans, near Edinburgh, was placed in an induced coma and fell critically ill with pneumonia, according to the Daily Record.

Mekala Osborne, 22, (above) is learning to walk again after surviving a deadly forest virus, which she contracted when visiting Vietnam in September last year

Mekala Osborne, 22, (above) is learning to walk again after surviving a deadly forest virus, which she contracted when visiting Vietnam in September last year

Mekala, from Prestonpans, near Edinburgh, began learning how to walk again in July

Mekala took her first steps in July - a staggering 289 days since she was last on her feet

Mekala, from Prestonpans, near Edinburgh, began learning how to walk again in July and took her first steps (above) – a staggering 289 days since she was last on her feet

Her mother Yvonne and her stepfather Jimmy were told to ‘pray she survives’.

Mekala was flown back to Scotland after spending two months at in hospital in Singapore.

The fitness instructor has spent the past seven months in rehabilitation, and says she still has a couple of months left to go. 

She said to the BBC: ‘I had lost the feeling in my arms and legs. I had a few operations, they had cut away some of my lung.

‘I had a tracheostomy. I couldn’t speak for four and a bit months, which was hard for me because I love to talk.’ 

Last September, Mekala developed symptoms of a cold and took cough lozenges to treat it, but was admitted to hospital and put in an induced coma when her condition worsened

Last September, Mekala developed symptoms of a cold and took cough lozenges to treat it, but was admitted to hospital and put in an induced coma when her condition worsened

After spending two months in a hospital in Singapore, she was flown back to Scotland, where she has spent seven months in rehabilitation

After spending two months in a hospital in Singapore, she was flown back to Scotland, where she has spent seven months in rehabilitation

Mekala has been in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary from November, but when lockdown was introduced in March, she was no longer able to see her family or friends. 

Speaking about trying to stay postive during lockdown, Mekala said: ‘It negatively impacted my recovery because I was just missing my mum so much and I felt lost.’

She added that her recovery has been ‘very hard’, but was able to reunite with her mother for the first time since lockdown began in July.

And, 289 days since she was last on her feet, Mekala began to learn how to walk again.

She said: ‘In my first walk I walked the length of the gym. It was amazing to be able to walk again and get that independence back. It just felt like some bit of normality. 

Since lockdown was imposed in March, Mekala was unable to see her mother Yvonne (left), which she said 'negatively impacted my recovery'

Since lockdown was imposed in March, Mekala was unable to see her mother Yvonne (left), which she said ‘negatively impacted my recovery’

‘I’d got close to some of the staff and just felt really motivated with them all around me, to do well and to make them proud of all the work they had done.’

Mekala will celebrate her birthday on August 23 and would love to be able to go home and have a ‘little lunch’ to celebrate – but her ultimate goal is returning to play hockey.

She said: ‘I’d love to get back to playing hockey. That’s my goal. One day, even if it takes five years, I don’t care.

‘I’ll work as hard as I can to be able to get back on the pitch again.’

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