BRENDA Monsey was told she might only have three days left to live but has defeated the odds and will be spending Christmas with her family.

The ordeal started for the 86-year-old, who lives in Bathpool, when she was admitted to Taunton Musgrove Park Hospital at the end of November with an infection which led to urosepsis.

She recovered but quickly found herself back in hospital with acute kidney failure. Tests indicated that Brenda only had a few days left to live after she denied treatment following a gruelling stint of dialysis. But to her doctors’ surprise, she started to become more alert, one of her kidneys began to function, and she started eating again after a week with no food. She continued to brighten as the days went on.

“I’m so lucky I’m still alive,” said Brenda. “Especially when my family were told it would only be a few days or so. I decided that I could not go through the pain anymore, I didn’t want any more treatment. But I got through it – it’s mind over matter, I guess.”

Family members took it turns to be at Brenda’s bedside and expected the worst but are delighted to see her “miracle” recovery.

Brenda’s niece Sue Wills said the family was “devastated” by the prognosis doctors gave Brenda. She said: “We had to prepare to say goodbye to this amazing lady that had such a positive influence on so many people’s lives. Now the doctors are even talking about discharging her to a nursing home for end of life care as she has made such a strong come back. She’s always had a great sense of humour and this has come back in abundance.

“Her specialist has called her a walking miracle as they could not believe how she has bounced back.”

The family now plan to celebrate Christmas together and Brenda is looking forward to enjoying some festive treats.

Ms Monsey added: “I’m happy now and I’ve been quite well – I am not in any pain.

“I’m starting to eat better, especially dessert. I had all my Christmas presents ready to go and I told my family to have a drink for me, but now I will be able to spend it with them and they can all come to see me. I am so grateful to my family and friends. The doctors and staff have looked after me. They’re all so nice and do a damn good job.”

Maggie Poole, a sister on Wordsworth ward, said: “We’re pleased that Brenda has had a positive stay at Musgrove and we are doing our best to help her get out of hospital in time for Christmas. Staff on the ward wish Brenda and her family a happy Christmas.”