East Lothian personal trainer in coma ‘stable’ after high-risk transfer from Vietnam to Singapore

An East Lothian woman induced into a coma after falling ill with pneumonia in Vietnam has been moved to a hospital in Singapore and is in a ‘stable’ condition.

By Elsa Maishman
Sunday, 6th October 2019, 12:07 pm
Mekala (left) and mum Yvonne. Picture: Jimmy McAulay
Mekala (left) and mum Yvonne. Picture: Jimmy McAulay

Mekala Osborne, 22, was struck down with bronchial pneumonia last week while on the ‘trip of a lifetime’ in Vietnam.

What started out as a simple sore throat led to her being put into an induced coma in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Hoi An, Danag.

Parents Jimmy McAulay and Yvonne Bonnar McAulay managed to travel to Mekala’s bedside in Vietnam, but it was decided on Wednesday that she would be transferred to Singapore for treatment.

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She was transferred by Medivac at sea level, as in her condition she could not withstand the cabin pressure of a normal flight.

Her parents were told to ‘pray she survives’ the dangerous journey.

But after a ‘heart-wrenching’ wait for them and family at home in Wallyford, Mekala has arrived safely in Singapore and is now in a stable condition.

Family friend Davie Martin wrote on Facebook: “Jimmy McAulay Jnr and Yvonne Bonnar McAulay are with Mekala, she’s still stable and comfortable.”

Specialists said they were confident Mekala could hear her parents talking to her, Mr Martin said.

They have arranged for friends of Mekala to make a video message for her, to help her on her road to recovery.

She has undergone a number of medical procedures in Singapore, including a bronchoscopy to examine the lungs and an ECMO, a way of getting oxygen into the blood when the lungs are functioning properly.

Both procedures were successful, and Mr Martin reported that Mekala was doing well on Friday evening.

"It’s still a long road that Mekala has to take but so far your prayers and words of comfort seem to be doing the job folks so keep it up," he said.

"All being well they will take Mekala off the ECMO in a week to 10 days and hopefully her lungs will be able to function without it.

"She is by no means out the woods but at least she is now in a place and has the heart of a lion to kick this illness’s arse big time, however she is stable and that's comforting. So Let's take this as a positive and pray this is the start of her recovery."

Doctors hope to lift Mekala out of her coma on Monday.

A JustGiving page set up by Mr Martin has so far raised nearly £11,000 for Mekala’s family, to cover expenses for her parents to be with her in the Far East and for care for her younger brother at home in East Lothian.

A fundraising event will be held on October 18 at Wallyford Miners Club.

Mr Martin said: "The generosity of you all through donations to fundraising page I set up has taken a huge burden of worry from [Mekala's parents] and the family, and allowed them to concentrate on Mekala.

"For that I am so grateful. Because they are going to be out there a lot longer than we thought. But it doesn’t matter how long it takes. It will be great to welcome all the family coming of that plane together."