Tractor Boys spur Rachel’s recovery - but Fenland woman’s first words on coming round from coma? ‘Ipswich Town’

EVEN as she lay seriously ill, student Rachel Humphrey’s first thoughts were of her favourite team – Ipswich Town Football Club.

Rachel, 20, of Wisbech, contracted a virus on her brain back in December 2009. The virus caused her to suffer constant seizures.

Her mum Kim said: “She was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital and put into a medical-induced coma for 14 weeks.”

For several agonising months, Rachel fought for her life in critical care.

Kim, 52, said: “They gradually allowed her to come round. Her first words when she woke from the coma were ‘Ipswich Town’.”


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Though they live 80 miles away, the Humphrey family are ardent fans of the Tractor Boys. Kim and Rachel even founded the Fenland branch of the supporters’ club.

Kim added: “We all support Ipswich Town. Rachel has grown up supporting the team and it is a big part of her life. The whole family are season ticket-holders and we go to most of the away matches.”

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Today, 15 months after her illness began, Rachel continues to make progress. Although she is still on a lot of medication, she is expected to be able to return to the family’s home soon.

Kim added: “Rachel’s recovery has been a long process and she still has a long way to go, but she is doing really well. We are delighted she is coming home.”

To celebrate her gradual recovery her family treated her to a box in the club’s Cobbold Stand where she watched the Blues defeat Sheffield United 3-0.

Rachel said: “It was a really good day and I really enjoyed it. It was important to me and made me feel better and made me smile a lot. It was so good to be back at Ipswich. I want to go to every game again.”

Praising the playing of striker Connor Wickham, who scored a wonder goal during the match, Rachel said she is relieved to be going home from hospital in the coming weeks.

Kim, who lived at hospital for five months with her husband Peter while Rachel was in critical care, said: “It was fantastic to be back at Portman Road.

“The club was brilliant and Rachel got to meet some of the players before the match. The whole family came along and Rachel really enjoyed it.

“Without the care she received at Addenbrooke’s, she wouldn’t be here today, so it was a huge achievement.”

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