A BRAVE St Neots woman who has beaten the odds to survive two massive brain operations wants to say a huge thank you to the NHS.

CAMBRIDGESHIRE'S NHS workers are life-savers who deserve some praise for their dedication and care.

That's the verdict of a Eaton Socon woman who has beaten the odds to survive two brain operations.

Karen Staines, 50, of Grenville Way, has been through more invasive medical treatments in 18 months than most people go through in a lifetime, but far from letting it get her down, the mother of three is raring to get well again so she can return to work and get on with her life.

And it's all thanks to the NHS.

She told The Hunts post: "I suffered a ruptured brain aneurism in August 2009, and that was when I realised how fantastic the emergency services were. No sooner had my daughter, Victoria, called the ambulance than the paramedics and a doctor arrived, shortly followed by an air ambulance and a police helicopter carrying a neurosurgeon."

She was transported to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge where a team of medical experts, led by neurosurgeon Peter Kirkpatrick, carried out an emergency operation which Karen is convinced saved her life.

"I am exceptionally lucky," she said. "While I was in Addenbrooke's they discovered I had three more brain aneurysms which needed treating at a later date. The level of care I got from every single member of staff at the hospital was second to none."

Karen was admitted back into hospital in January this year to get two of her aneurysms clipped in a successful operation that saw her spend another eight days in hospital.

However, there were complications and Karen was in need of further care from the NHS.

"After 10 days of being at home the left hand side of my face swelled up to such an extent that I had to be rushed into hospital again. A CAT scan showed I had developed a brain infection."

Karen underwent another operation to release the pressure that was building on her brain as a result of the infection. She spent a further three weeks at Addenbrooke's where Dr Ricky Traverdi and his team successfully treated her.

"I received superb treatment and care by everyone, including consultants, doctors, nurses, health care workers and even the ward food hostess.

"It's something I will always be grateful to them for and never forget."

She added: "I know I am lucky to be alive. I wouldn't be sitting here today without the care and support shown to me by all those wonderful people who work in the NHS."

Karen's believes the NHS staff deserve some public recognition for their work - including those at Addenbrooke's and at Almond Road GP Surgery in St Neots. She also thanked staff at the St Neots Tesco pharmacy, for whom nothing was "too much trouble".