It was a dark rainy December night and I was on the motorway in my trusty VW Golf, I was waiting for the rain to let up but it just got heavier and my window wipers couldn’t get rid of it quick enough, the spray from the road was ridiculous as there were lorries in front and to the side of me and I had zero visibility. I took the decision to come off at the next exit only I couldn’t make out the road markings, so I made a judgement call. I felt the first bang (that one hurt) a second and then repeated bangs and noises as my air bags exploded into action and my car was filled with a bright light and my Golf rolled three times up the slip road. I thought I was dead, seriously I thought this is as far as I go, but it wasn’t, the car finally came to a stop resting on its roof. Inside the car I didn’t know where about I had landed so I un clipped my seatbelt and fell onto my knees, my back hurt a lot but I was more concerned about what kind of danger I might still be in, where was my car positioned? Could it explode with me in it? Had I hit another car? I kicked out the driver side window and with an elbow out at a time I crawled, dragged myself from the wreckage of my car. It was still throwing it down with rain, I managed to stand and as I looked over my up turned car the entire motorway had stopped and it was my fault. I thought “oh shit, I’ve really done it now” nobody else was involved, some amazing people stopped and the emergency services were called. I was breathalised (i passed!) the firefighters turned up with bolt cutters to cut me out of my car and were shocked to find me at the side of the road! Finally I was taken away in an ambulance screaming for pain killers for my back, id never known pain like it. At the hospital my family were called and my best friend and I was told I had broke my back! I had smashed my L3 vertebrae to rubble. I couldn’t walk, sit up, use the bathroom! I was just lay flat on a bed in hospital. I was told I might walk again in 6 months with crutches and that I would be put in a back brace and given strong painkillers. I was told that I would be in hospital for weeks and to forget Christmas (it was 17th December), I had other plans. I asked if there was anything else that could be done other than the back brace and was told that a hospital 30 ish miles away in Liverpool called “The Walton Centre” specialised in spine and brain operations and that they could potentially fix me but you had to fit a certain profile.
I was analysed and my details were sent to Walton and after some discussion I was taken to Walton hospital to see if they could do anything with me. I wanted my life back so desperately, my boring accountants job, my dogs, my home I had to get it all back plus everyone was so worried I needed to get better for them too.
I arrived at Walton and begged the surgeons to fix me and they said they could, I would have a 5 hour operation and they would pin my L2 to L4 vertebrae together while my L3 bits would be taken out and replaced with something to make the bone grow back.
I woke up from my operation and was told it had been successful.
I had been pinned back together by amazing surgeons.
I woke up and with some help I was pulled to my feet and able to stand and then slowly and with so much pain I took tiny steps around my bed, an hour later I was walking round the hospital much to the belief of everyone. I remember lying in the hospital bed after the operation, with my life and options back in front of me, I promised myself I would come back strong and live my life well! I put my ear phones in my I phone and played Foo Fighters Walk as I took painful steps to getting better and stronger.
Monday Night! (Christmas Eve)
I was taken home, I could walk and I already knew that this accident was the best and worst thing that I had experienced. It had changed my outlook on everything. Within two weeks I bought another Golf ( I was told that my Golf was the reason I probably survived my crash so I bought another one) and I was back in work 6 weeks after that ( I had to beg to get signed back sooner as I was meant to be off for 12 weeks!). I have a perfect scar down my spine, it beats any tattoo and when I get stressed at work I feel that scar and count myself lucky! I am totally back to normal now apart from I can not run, the impact is too much for my spine, I loved running that’s how I used to stay in shape, but hey I can walk so….. So I have my life back and it’s actually better, I have a new job, new car, better outlook, I had been going through some issues which sort of resolved themselves with my crash. I wanted to share this as I found that in the worst situation you can make the best of it, I took it as a challenge to get my life back and with amazing support and fantastic surgeons I did. I am grateful for my family and friends, the surgeons, people who helped at the scene of the crash, grateful for another chance to live my life and for the lesson I learned. Take care on the roads people.