Where it started
Sarah was traveling to Liverpool from South Elmsall, in a minibus, to celebrate her friend’s hen night. But the 15 girls and five mums never made it to Liverpool, as the clutch in the minibus failed and the vehicle ground almost to a halt before being hit by a lorry.
Sarah and some of her friends were rushed to the Intensive Care Unit at Leeds General Infirmary. Tragically one of her friends died.
Sarah, then aged 25, was put into an induced coma for two days to help her body cope with internal bleeding.
She’d broken her scapula, lacerated her liver, broken her spine in two places, smashed her pelvis, and her right leg was broken in several places. After seven days in the high dependency unit, Sarah was transferred to the newly created Major Trauma Centre.
“During the first week on the trauma ward, I wasn’t emotional at all – I was on so many drugs. You just roll with it in a blur. As I began to be more aware of my situation, I can remember feeling quite scared about the uncertainty ahead and I felt sad inside" she said.
“The hardest thing is accepting what’s happened and doing what you’ve got to do to feel better. I’m just grateful I survived.”
Road to recovery
Sarah began a long and challenging series of operations to put her broken limbs back together. Sarah was able to move around using a wheelchair within two weeks and was discharged from hospital within a month after the accident, returning home to her parents’ house where a bed had been set up in the dining room.
Sarah’s Dad took on the day-to-day role of lifting Sarah in the early days of her recovery and her Mum slept with her downstairs to help her go to the toilet.
By August 2014 Sarah’s broken leg bones had fused sufficiently for her to begin using a walking aid. Sarah also had some psychotherapy to help her process her trauma.
Sarah maintains a regular excise regime and takes medication to manage her pain. Despite her injuries she’s progressed with her career and become a qualified accountant.
Sarah is one of the team of patients who helped inform the support that Day One would offer. She continues to support the charity as a peer supporter, being matched with others who’ve sustained similar injuries where possible.
“It's really rewarding. As well as giving people hope by sharing my story with them, I can share my coping strategies, for example, talking about my accident"