CHRISTMAS has come early for a family after being told their daughter, who almost died, will be allowed home next month.

Mekala Osborne was given just a five per cent chance of survival after falling ill while travelling in Asia last year.

Now, after 15 months away from home, her family are getting ready to welcome the former Preston Lodge High School pupil home.

Her mum, Yvonne McAulay, was lost for words.

She told the Courier: “It is hard to explain.

"I’m absolutely over the moon but I’m scared because it has been such a long time.

“To get her home for Christmas is the best Christmas present ever.

“This time last year, Christmas was cancelled; we are absolutely over the moon now.

“She is coming on well but there is a long, long, long way to go.”

East Lothian Courier:

Mekala, who is currently in hospital in Edinburgh, took to social media today (Wednesday) afternoon to confirm the exciting news.

She said: “After a successful home assessment and family meeting, I have a discharge date!!

“The countdown is on.

“I cannot bloody wait to be reunited with my friends n family!!!

“The 14th of December is very significant date to me which is why I chose it in particular as my discharge date.

“It is my Papa’s birthday and is the date I have tattooed on my ribs in memory of him.

“Every time I see these scars, I also see my Papa and I remember the strength he gave me.

“I want to say a massive thank you again to all who have supported me all the way, I can’t wait to be out in the community again and seeing everyone!”

East Lothian Courier:

Mekala left the family home on Wallyford’s Dury Way, which she shares with her mum and step-dad Jimmy, as well as brother Danny, at the beginning of September 2019.

She had only been in south-east Asia for a matter of weeks before she took unwell.

Initially, the keen hockey player was complaining of a sore throat but it soon became clear that it was much more serious and she was put in an induced coma in Vietnam.

Members of the community rallied round to support the family and raised thousands of pounds to help cover medical and travel costs.

Yvonne, who described the community support as “phenomenal”, flew out to be with her daughter and Mekala, who contracted necrotising pneumonia, was transferred to a hospital in Singapore before finally getting back to Scotland in November last year.

Since then, the 23-year-old has been undergoing a gruelling rehabilitation and was allowed to visit her house last Thursday, along with NHS staff.

Her mum, who works as a bus driver for Harlawhill Day Care Centre in Prestonpans, said: “Even when the car was pulling up, I had to ask ‘is this happening?’

“I had to pinch myself and I was just so emotional.

“I just lost it and was howling.”

Experts had to check the house was suitable for Mekala, who is a qualified personal trainer, to return home on a permanent basis.

That saw Mekala visit the various rooms in the property, including her bedroom, where she was able to lie back on her bed.

Only Yvonne was allowed in the house at the time of the visit due to coronavirus restrictions and when Mekala gets to return home it will be the first time she has seen her brother, who is autistic, for more than a year.

Yvonne, 52, added: “It has only been by FaceTime.

“She has never seen her brother since September 6 last year.

“He came to the airport with us and saw her going away but that was the last time she physically held him.”