How Bramley woman's major surgery sparked career change to become physio and give back to the NHS

A Bramley woman who almost died on the operating table during major abdominal surgery has told how the experience sparked a major career change - to allow her to "give back" to the NHS which saved her life.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 4:45 am

Rebecca Gregson-Twist, 48, was a young senior manager for the Royal Mail based out of the Stourton depot - working "crazy hours" travelling all over the country during her rapid career progression.

However, her efforts were brought to a sudden halt in 2010 when she became extremely ill.

Rebecca was diagnosed with a very rare endocrine tumour which meant her body was producing life threatening amounts of adrenaline.

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Rebecca Gregson-Twist, 48

She underwent major abdominal surgery and "nearly died on the operation table".

Determined Rebecca survived the ordeal and returned to work just three months later.

Despite her return, Rebecca told the YEP she "could not find the passion" for her job anymore and "money seemed less important" following her operation.

In a brave decision, Rebecca left her high paid role with "no plans".

Rebecca Gregson-Twist, 48

In 2012, she decided she wanted to give back and thank the NHS which saved her life and decided to retrain as a physio.

Nine years on, she completed gruelling training to achieve her dream and now works for her own company Twist Physiotherapy in a CQC registered clinic - Evolve Medical - on Dawson's Corner in Pudsey.

Describing her journey to the YEP, Rebecca said: "I returned to work after three months and could not find my passion any more.

"Money seemed less important, so I walked away from my extremely well paid job with no plans.

Rebecca Gregson-Twist, 48

"In 2012 I finally decided I wanted to contribute to the NHS and decided to retrain as a physio.

"It was a super hard journey.

"I had no idea how demanding physiotherapy would be but the NHS had saved my life."

Rebecca said her work as a physio has been very rewarding.

She said: "I am happy I changed careers but I am also grateful for the experiences that Royal Mail gave me and the people that I met.

"I will be honest, it is a challenge.

"While I was studying I began to struggle with my mental health, something that had been an issue since my teens.

"I was finally diagnosed with bipolar type 2.

"Eventually my medication was adjusted so I can stay well most of the time.

"As a physio you are always learning and I make sure that I am up to date with the latest research.

"I'm really passionate about helping people recover from injury or manage a long term condition.

"I really enjoy meeting people and making sure they get a completely bespoke experience to recover.

"Nothing compares to somebody coming back to clinic feeling better than they did before and knowing you helped them do that.

"I had no idea how demanding physiotherapy would be but the NHS had saved my life."

Rebecca said lockdown and the Covid pandemic has had a major impact on her new role.

She said: "My friend had set up a big clinic and I have a room there.

"In March 2020 we shut due to Covid.

"I didn't qualify for financial help and worked for test and trace as a clinical case worker.

"Since then, business has been up and down.

"It has been really tough especially now with so much self-isolation it has really taken a toll on business and the level of uncertainty it has brought.

"I have managed through it and hopefully I can carry on building my business up."