With just four weeks until my due date, I was so excited about becoming a mum.
My husband Ray needed the car, so my mum drove me to work in York as she was later going to take me for a check-up hospital appointment.
My mum parked the car. I got out to help direct her to straighten up. In a freak accident she accelerated forward and hit me.
I went flying into the back of a white van. I just fell to the floor.
I broke both my legs, my pelvis, ribs, and had a bust elbow.
I didn’t care what had happened to me. I just wanted to know this long-sought-after baby was OK.
I was flown via air ambulance to Leeds Major Trauma Centre. I can’t imagine how my mum felt. She would have swapped places with me in a heartbeat.
When I arrived at hospital there were so many people looking after me. I had so many scans and checks. This was an unusual situation. They couldn’t simply operate or start mending my injuries as I had a baby inside me. The trauma team had to plan closely with the midwives.
My baby had to be born before they could start fixing my pelvis. I had a Caesarean section. They put me to sleep.
Thankfully, my beautiful baby boy Samuel survived. Straight after giving birth, I was taken into what would be the first of five surgeries. It was a 12-hour operation to mend my pelvis.
I had what is known as a ‘Hoffa’ break in my left leg, while seven centimetres from the tibia in my right leg was missing, and the muscle had come out. The worst part was that I didn’t get to meet my boy until the next day, and I was still too weak to hold him.
Samuel, Ray and I lived on the wards for three weeks. Thankfully they found a room we could be together in while I healed. I felt so vulnerable. I couldn’t move. Whenever Ray popped out I worried that if anyone came in and took Samuel I just wouldn’t be able to stop them. It was horrible.
I was eventually discharged, but I wasn’t home for long before I ended up back in hospital for another operation. On my own. I wanted to get back home and be with my family permanently.
That’s why I’ll never be able to thank Day One enough.
I couldn’t be discharged because I needed access to a CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) machine to aid the recovery of my legs. I was moved to learn that Day One would cover the cost of the rental of a CPM machine, so I could be with my family.
As well as aiding my physical recovery, Day One was indispensable in helping me psychologically. While I’d expected my body to change after childbirth, I wasn’t mentally prepared for the scars I’d endure following my accident.
Through Day One I was able to hear from others who had gone through major trauma. Seeing the stories of survival online, and talking to others who had experienced similar injuries, helped me manage my expectations.
With this support, I was able to get my head around what my body had been through, and above all, stay optimistic.
Samuel now has two younger brothers, Joshua and Benjamin, and although time has been a great healer, every birthday Samuel has is a reminder of my accident and the recovery journey I have been on.
There have been lots of ups and downs since my accident in 2016. Two weeks after Joshua was born in 2017 my right leg broke. Again. I ended up back in hospital and had to wear a frame for 14 months. Although my right leg has healed, my left knee will never be the same again. I’m still under a consultant as I might need further work.
We’ve helped give back by fundraising for Day One, and Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Ray led a team of cyclists who took on a Coast to Coast challenge, we organised a charity cricket match, and took on the Three Peaks. We hope to do more fundraising in the future so we can continue to help Day One be there for more people like us in the future.