Limavady woman given 1% survival chance after drug overdose urges others to seek help

Rachel Kordual has come back from the brink of death.

The young woman from Limavady was given a 1% chance of survival after a drug overdose. 

She was 19 when a mixture of legal and illegal drugs along with alcohol left her fighting for her life on New Year's Day in 2019.

Rachels’s life support was due to be switched off in Altnagelvin Hospital but highly specialist treatment at a Manchester hospital saved her life.

Rachel told UTV she was determined to live:

“Absolutely I consider it a miracle but I choose to fight, and honestly I think the reason I’m here to stay is to share my story.”

Rachel is speaking out following a recent spate of suspected drug related deaths in the North West including Limavady.

Now aged 24, she’s urging anyone with addiction issues or mental health difficulties to seek help immediately.

“Don’t wait to get help if you think you need it, go and get it now, because the longer you wait the less chance you have of surviving.”

Rachel’s family had been discussing her funeral when she was offered extracorporeal membrane oxygenation treatment.

Known as ECNO it’s not available in Northern Ireland and rarely given to people who have suffered overdoses.

Medics rated Rachel’s chances of survival as extremely slim but she pulled through within weeks and was taken off the ENCO machine in Wythenshawe Hospital.

It’s a date now tattooed on her arm: “When I look at the tattoo it reminds me of that dark place I was in and it reminds me that if I do start using drugs or alcohol again I could go back there and I could end up worse off.”

Rachel has not taken illicit drugs for five years and hasn’t had an alcoholic drink for two years.

She says her new life free from substance abuse is a happier one.

She’s hoping her story will inspire others to take the same journey towards recovery

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