A YOUNG East Lothian personal trainer who almost died while on holiday in Vietnam last year has shared her story, one year on.

Mekala Osborne was travelling through South East Asia with a friend last autumn when she phoned home complaining of a sore throat and tried to treat it with Strepsils and antibiotics.

Mekala was diagnosed with bronchial pneumonia and her condition soon deteriorated, ending up in an induced coma in hospital in Vietnam and being given only a five per cent chance of survival.

She was later transferred to a hospital in Singapore, where she received further, more intense treatment, including invasive surgery on her lung, which had fully collapsed.

Mekala, a former Preston Lodge High School pupil who now lives in Wallyford, was flown home from Singapore to Manchester and transported to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (ERI) last November.

She has been treated at the Astley Ainslie Hospital in Edinburgh since March.

September 24 marked one year in hospital for Mekala.

The 23-year-old said on social media: “[It] marks one whole year in hospital. Somehow, I managed to turn a six-week holiday into a one whole year, all-inclusive and all-expenses-paid holiday in hospital.

“In that time I’ve seen the sights of hospitals in Vietnam, Singapore and Edinburgh. So I still went travelling, right?

“The food is below average, the Wi-Fi is slow and there is not as much sun as I thought.

“In all seriousness, a whole year of my life spent in hospital.

“I have learnt so much from my experience in hospital that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

“I have embraced everything I have been through and turned it into life lessons. It’s been painful but truly a blessing.

“This experience could have mentally and physically destroyed me but I chose not to let it.

“I surrounded myself with positive people and turned myself into the inspiration I needed.

“I’m looking forward to seeing where I will be this time next year! Better days are ahead.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has been there for me, my family, friends, nurses/assistants/physios, simply everyone. I wouldn’t be here without you.”

Mekala’s stepdad Jimmy McAulay shared an emotional tribute to mark the occasion. He said: “A year ago on her way to work, [Mekala’s mum] Yvonne received the phone call.

“I must say that, apart from losing my daughter five and a half years ago, this has been the most traumatic time in my long life.

“The past year has totally reshaped our way of living as a family, but saying that, without the help of our community and beyond, I don’t know where we would be today.

“My wee super trooper has her mojo back and she ain’t giving in.

“I know there are other families out there going through similar situations – please don’t give up, you will get to a better place!

“Personally, I’m quite a proud man, and quite an emotional man; if I need something I’ll work for it, but over the past year I’ve realised pride won’t put food on the table or pay the gas bill, so it’s been a life lesson for me even at my age!

“I thank each and every one of you for your support and kind words over the past year. We truly wouldn’t have got this far without you. Thank you again and God bless.”

Yvonne added: “So proud of you.”

Earlier this month, Mekala was transferred back to the ERI for an operation to remove some built-up connective tissue on her chest wall which resulted in an abscess forming – it was where she had her lung drain fitted in Vietnam.

The operation was a success and, despite being in a lot of pain, Mekala is said to be recovering well.

At the end of August, she celebrated her 23rd birthday at the Astley Ainslie, alongside staff and her mum.

The hospital organised a small buffet with balloons and cake.

Yvonne said: “Thank you to Davie Martin for his special mention on Radio Saltire, the Astley Ainslie and the staff for organising a wee buffet for her, Morag Yule for her beautiful balloons, William Cairns for his drive by (her face was priceless) and to every one of you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”