It's Stage Right For A Brighter 2011!

4 January 2011

Rhiannon Prytherch

Rhiannon Prytherch

Release

Rhiannon Prytherch's brain haemorrhage was so serious last summer that she began to plan for her own funeral.

But the brave 28-year-old, from Richardson Street, Derby, has amazed medics and defied the odds of survival - by making a sensational recovery to health in just six months.

And as she looks to a brighter 2011, Rhiannon will next week mark her remarkable return to health by taking to the stage for her theatre company Sustained Magic for the first time since her illness.

Rhiannon is a co-director of Sustained Magic and studied BA (Hons) in Theatre Arts from 2002 to 2005 at the University of Derby and is one of its graduates.

Sustained Magic will perform the first professional production by an external company to be hosted in the newly refurbished community studio at Derby Theatre starting on 11 January.

The University of Derby acquired the lease for Derby Theatre in Derby city centre in 2009 and has worked with Derby LIVE on staging a whole host of productions in the last two years in the main auditorium.

But Sustained Magic will make history with the first showing of a performance in the 100-seater community studio when it performs Release.

Release is a drama by playwright Angela Truby based in a women's prison where various inmates take part in drama therapy and they relive their stories of pain and violence as they attempt to move successfully along the road to rehabilitation.

Angela is also a Marketing Officer at the University of Derby and a member of Sustained Magic. The other members of the Sustained Magic team are Artistic Director Matt Green, Ed Kennedy and James Glazebrook. They are all delighted at how Rhiannon has returned to health so quickly after her illness.

Sustained Magic produces live theatre, creates performances relevant for new audiences and supports recent graduates and new artists with an opportunity to enjoy their first taste of live theatre and begin to build a portfolio for their career.

Rhiannon first became ill with headaches and blurred vision in May and went to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield where she spent ten days and was treated for a brain haemorrhage.

She said: "I was told that my chances of survival were quite low and at one stage in the ward I was with my family and we started to talk about what sort of funeral I should have if things went wrong during the operation.

"I was sedated but my concerns weren't for me but for my family and how they were coping. I had gone from being fit and healthy a week or so before to lying in a hospital bed with a real possibility I might not pull through."

After a successful operation Rhiannon spent a further 12 weeks recuperating at home. She has some paralysis behind her right eye where the aneurysm had been and some remaining nerve damage to one of her arms but otherwise has returned to full fitness.

She said: "I have kept a positive mental attitude throughout and am so thankful to the medics and all my friends and family for their support and help. I am so pleased to be going on stage again and this new year does promise to be a new start in my life."

A subarachnoid haemorrhage frequently occurs in young adults and can often be fatal - as many as 30 per cent die within hours, and a further 30 per cent die within the first month - or result in serious disability in people who have young dependents.

Umang Patel, Consultant Neurovascular Surgeon, at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, said: "Rhiannon presented to the Neurosurgical Unit on May 15 having had a severe headache for 10 days associated with vomiting, light hurting her eyes and neck stiffness. It was suspected that she had had a subarachnoid haemorrhage (brain haemorrhage) and/or an aneurysm (dilated weakness on a blood vessel) that compressed one of the nerves which moved the right eye and controlled the pupil reaction.

"After diagnosis and subsequent treatment, she was transferred to the Rehabilitation Unit in Nottingham and will have tests in the future to monitor the aneurysm. When last consulted she had made a remarkable recovery and only had minor symptoms. We are all delighted that she has been able to spend Christmas with her family and will be able to take part in this play and continue doing a thing she loves."

For more details about the forthcoming production visit Derby Live's website at::www.derbylive.co.uk  or Sustained Magic at:www.sustainedmagic.com

For more information contact Deputy Head of Corporate Relations Simon Redfern on 01332 591942 or 07748 920038 or email s.redfern@derby.ac.uk.

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