Funmi Lawal

Funmi was born in the U.K. and went to Nigeria with her parents when she was 3 years old. There she graduated from the University of Ilorin at the age of 19 with a BSc in Economics. On returning to the UK in 1987 Funmi worked in Public Service for over 10 years. In 1997 she graduated from the London School of Economics with a MSc in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems. Funmi and her husband moved to Dubai and were based there for the next five years.

In 2002, a health crisis meant that Funmi suddenly and unexpectedly faced a future that required her to learn to manage her own limited mobility and critical health problems.

Funmi’s two children were born prematurely, due to pre-eclampsia.

In Funmi’s own words:

“What I didn’t immediately understand was that the second bout of pre-eclampsia would also have a long-lasting impact on my future health.

On the eve of our second baby’s naming ceremony, just seven days after her birth, I developed a serious headache that paracetamol would not shift. Later that night, a sharp pain woke me from my sleep and I in turn woke my husband for help. It was then that I had a stroke, followed by a serious bleed on the brain.

We arrived at St Thomas’s Hospital, in central London, to discover that there was no neuro-surgeon on duty because it was the weekend. I was critically ill and while the hospital staff were conducting a CT scan, my heart stopped. My family was informed that I had little chance of survival and even if I did manage to survive, it was likely that I would be disabled for life.

Luckily for me, I was later moved to the Atkinson Morley Hospital near Wimbledon, which had become one of the most advanced brain surgery centres in the world, and I did survive.

I eventually started a rehabilitation process, which I found to be very difficult and strenuous. However, after six hard months I was talking, walking and using my right hand which enabled me to return to family life with limited mobility and motivated me to qualify as a Prince2 Practitioner (Prince2 is a project management method).

Like many other stroke victims, I experienced a further serious health issue when I was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure in 2007. Once again, the grace of God was shining upon me as I managed to have a successful transplant in 2011, at the Royal Free Hospital. I used my past experiences to help me recover, continuing to live as complete a life as possible”.

Funmi has been an active member of the RFHKPA for several years and for the last two has been Vice-Chairman. Her knowledge, both as a renal patient and as a businesswoman makes her ideally qualified to help run the KPA for the benefit of its increasing membership.

In Funmi’s own words “My aim is to help as many people as possible live positive, independent lives”.

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