Until 2017 I made my living running music groups at the Priory Hospital, and as a lead facilitator for The London School of Samba.
Then in May of that year my life changed forever when I fell ill and was rushed to hospital by ambulance.
There I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease which quickly led to a severe brain injury caused by a combination of Bacterial Meningitis and Encephalitis with Severe Sepsis.
I was in a coma for 3 weeks and friends and family were told I was expected to die. However thanks to the medical team (who saved my life on several occasions) I survived, but when I woke up from the coma I had lost my memory, so I didn't who or where I was, or what my life had been like.
One morning in hospital, a song came into my mind, and as I wrote the words that came back to me, I realised it was a song I had once written. After being discharged, l I found more songs I'd written in the past and decided to somehow find a way to record them.
Not able to run the business anymore, I began to sell my possessions to pay for the recordings and the year after, I ran a crowdfunding campaign as I had nothing left to sell!
Just some of the wonderful musicians who play on the recordings and have helped bring the songs to life are: Mel Gaynor of Simple Minds on drums, Michael Bailey (Chaka Khan) on bass, Tim Cansfield (The Bee Gees) on guitar, and Toby Baker, who has recorded with Eric Clapton amongst many others, on keyboards.
While in hospital, i also discovered that I had played the part of a world percussionist. When I came home it was to find a large collection of instruments, fully set up and taking up most of the room in the flat.
It took a couple of years before I was able to learn (or relearn) how to play drums and percussion again, but I truly believe playing the rhythms has helped my brain heal, and become stronger.
Together the instruments are known as The Gathering of Drums and were played as part of my first TEDx talk given at Edinburgh University in 2022..