A grandmother who suffered a brain haemorrhage which left her wheelchair bound is encouraging others dealing with life-changing injuries to make the most of every day.

Susan Knight spent three weeks in a coma due to a bleed on the brain in 2007 and was hospitalised for seven months.

The 66-year-old of Fladgate Road in Leytonstone said although she can no longer enjoy everyday pleasures like gardening and jogging, she has learned to be grateful for the little things.

The grandmother-of-three was forced to take early retirement from her job as a teacher in St Aubyn’s School in South Woodford and give up driving.

She said if it was not for the support of the charity HeadWay East London in Hackney she would have felt lost.

“Head Way was amazing,” said the mum-of-three.

“It offers people huge support, encouragement and lots of fun.

“I would arrive every Wednesday morning to the smell of bacon cooking and would get a lovely breakfast for just £1.

“I took part in art classes and stimulatory activities and learned how to use a computer.

“I joined discussion groups and it taught me there are others out there who are worse off than I am.

“It was important to be around others who had suffered brain injuries. I think there needs to be more awareness about the injuries and it should be taught in schools.”

Mrs Knight celebrates the date of her brain injury as an extra birthday each year to remind her of how blessed she is to have survived.

The pensioner suffers from memory loss and low energy and said losing her independence has been one of the hardest things to deal with.

Her husband John has been the “greatest support” throughout her recovery and she says the experience has made her appreciate her family more.

“My husband was downstairs getting ready for work when it happened,” she said.

“He came up and found me face-down in the bedroom with pink foam coming from my mouth.

“I was used to shopping for five, cooking for five and cleaning for five and now my husband does everything.

“It is quite hard because I was extremely active but I like being treated like a queen.”

Mrs Knight said although her injuries have turned her life upside down, she refuses to dwell on the past and instead concentrates on the positive side of things.

She added: “My life is the exact opposite of what it used to be but every day is a bonus and the best thing is that I have not lost my sense of humour.

“I am a fighter. With a name like Knight I have not got much choice.”