A British graduate has told how he is 'lucky to be alive' after spending eight days in a coma when he suffered a rare brain haemorrhage that doctors had never seen in a patient so young.
Leyth Hampshire, 23, from south London, had just landed an exciting new job in climate change with the EU and had travelled to Budapest to attend a networking event when he suddenly collapsed with a seizure.
What started off as a seemingly normal day in October quickly descended into a nightmare, as the devoted vegan - who competed in triathlons in his spare time - was left fighting for his life and minutes from death.
Leyth explained he had been mingling with colleagues when he unexpectedly dropped to the ground.
Leyth Hampshire, 23, woke up one cold October morning excited to navigate life in a new job in Budapest
'It was early morning I don't remember much,' Mr Hampshire recalled.
'I told my colleagues I needed to go to the loo, turned around and passed out. No one around me knew what was happening and I started having a fit on the floor. I don't remember anything – I was out to the world.'
Mr Hampshire was rushed to a Hungarian hospital where doctors discovered he was barely breathing on arrival. What was initially thought to be an asthma attack turned out to be something far more serious - it was his brain.
He had suffered a grade-5 aneurysm. An artery in his brain had suddenly and inexplicably burst open and caused an instant stroke. It's a such a serious occurrence that almost 80 per cent of people fail to wake up from it.
Lying in a strange bed in a Hungarian hospital with dozens of wires snaking out of him, Mr Hampshire was in a coma for more than a week as his body desperately fought not to shut down.
Mr Hampshire, from south London, was rushed to hospital where doctors discovered he was barely breathing on arrival
Every 24 hours Mr Hampshire was fighting for his life – his body was in constant tension as it tried to feed what little energy it had to his brain to stop it from shutting down.
'When I woke up I was very disorientated – I opened my eyes and saw lots of nurses surrounding my bed,' he said.
'I was strapped to my hospital bed so I couldn't move as I had three implants in my brain doing tests. Doctors were worried that when I woke up I would become anxious and rip the wires out.'
'Waking up in a Hungarian hospital is something I can't even describe the fear. I couldn't move my body, I was in a lot of pain, I was shaking and sweating and things were blurry.
Every 24 hours Mr Hampshire was fighting for his life – his body was in constant tension as it tried to feed what little energy it had to his brain to stop it from shutting down
'I was actually given a sedative to make me fall back asleep because I was so anxious.'
The graduate, who studied business at the University of the West of England, was the last person his family and friends would ever expect to have serious health problems.
A vegan, he competed in triathlons, practiced yoga and loved climbing. He was chasing a high-flying job in finance after completing an impressive masters course jetting between San Francisco, Barcelona and Taiwan.
Mr Hampshire says doctors confessed they had no idea why such an active and healthy young man was reduced to life support with a tube helping him to breathe.
When Mr Hampshire woke up for the second time, he was met by loved ones who had flown from all over the world to be by his bedside.
'Suddenly I wake up again and I see my family and friends there, and it filled me with joy but also filled with fear as to why am I in this place, ' he said.
'My dad lives lives in Iraq, and he was by my bed and I thought I was dreaming and then seeing my mum and one of my best friends who had been travelling in New Zealand – I was crying in a state a joy and of terror.'
An avid vegan, he competed in triathlons, practiced yoga and loved climbing. He was chasing a high-flying job in finance, after completing an impressive masters jetting between San Francisco, Barcelona and Taiwan
'They had to call a doctor to calm me down when they told me I'd been in a coma.
'Your heart heart drops. They said I had been here for a while with a tube in my throat feeding me. I had 14 wires attached me, on my brain, chest, needles up my arm and I couldn't move.'
Medics were forced to break the horrifying news that he had suffered a