On the 15th November 2013, at 9:30am (ish), I lost control of my car when it skidded on mud, leaves, frost or ice.
My car then spun on it’s wheels and I ended up in a field after having, hit a tree (possibly twice), killed a pigeon, gone through a ditch, run over a random pot of paint in the ditch, lost my favourite silver bracelet, maybe rolled my car and definitely smashed the driver’s side window with my head.
I can remember travelling under the speed limit, as I had glanced at the dashboard. It is a road with a 60mph speed limit, but I knew it was a cold morning so there’s no point in rushing. I began to brake to change the gears, to have better control of my car as I approached the sharp bend ahead. I was still on a straight stretch of road when my car went from under me. I would usually go down through the gears to then be doing around 25mph in 2nd gear when I got to the bend, but that morning I never got to the bend. I was on the wrong side of the road, trying to get back on the correct side when I imagined three things.
One, I stay on the wrong side of the road and hit a bus travelling back from dropping children at school. Quite likely.
Two, I go in to the ditch up ahead. This would most probably also end up in me losing my life.
Three, there is a country lane going off the sharp bend and with my vivid imagination, I pictured a computer game type scenario where my car hurtles down the lane and knocks over every dog-walker and bike-rider in it’s path. Not very likely but very scary.
I passed out. There’s no other explanation, as I remember opening my eyes as though I’d just woken up and there was glass and the colour green. Everything was green, like if you stuck your head in a hedge, a soft hedge, but various shades of green and no room for anything else. In hindsight, I wasn’t in a hedge, I could probably see the tree and hedges I’d hit and grass. The glass that I remember was most likely the shards of driver’s-side window still in the frame around me.
There are a few people that I remember; I’ve been lucky enough to obtain the names of and have contact with three (and I hope to find the others to thank if possible). The first was Andy Freke. I owe so much to this man, he held my hand, told me not to un-do my seat-belt the numerous times I attempted, called 999, told others to call 999 and to clear the road, collected my belongings, stayed with me until the ambulance had taken me (and at the crash-site after) and even poked my broken arm when I passed out to keep me awake. Andy put my belongings into my handbag and gave this to a lovely lady, Lisa Richardson, she looked after it until the emergency services arrived and handed it to PC Richard Prior. Unfortunately, I remember Lisa vaguely by my side and only one thing she said “I’d like to stay but I have my little boy in the car”. Her messages to me since have been a great help in filling gaps, while being very reassuring and they’ve cheered me up no end. From what I gather, her and Andy worked as a team and I also owe so much to Lisa.
PC Prior asked me for my name, where I was going, if I knew where I was and for the code to get into my phone. I answered them all and to the final one I said; “I can’t think of the numbers but it’s the ‘C’ word”. He laughed and walked away. I believe it was shortly after this time that he phoned my Mom. She was told that I had whip-lash and not to hurry, I was okay but to come to Redditch A&E. I have been informed by my manager that it was after this that she called my phone to find out where I was, when she was greeted by PC Prior’s voice. He didn’t know whether to answer but as I had said I was going to work and this call was coming from a Stratford-upon-Avon land-line number, he answered. He told her that I was in good hands and not to tell anyone as my Dad hadn’t been called yet.
I can remember discussions around me and hearing the Air Ambulance. The fourth person I remember said “Don’t worry, it’ll all be okay.” I just thought “Oh yeah it will!” He was good looking, whether my imagination had gone into over-drive, whether they had filled me with loads of Morphine already, I do not know. All I know is that he took my mind off the pain.
I also remember the Air Ambulance Paramedic, she was so kind and didn’t let worry. She stabilised me and then traveled to Redditch A&E with me in the road ambulance. I have since been able to meet Candice (the Paramedic) again and I could not thank her enough. The air ambulance then collected her once I was in the hospital and a bit calmer.
I’ve been told that there was blood everywhere and that I joked with the nurse putting water through my hair by saying things including “that better be your finest shampoo” in a ‘posh’ voice. That sounds like a thing I would do, especially while out of it on strong medication and pain-killers. My Mom arrived, she was upset but relieved to hear me joking around. My head was temporarily sewn together, patched up with little bits of glass in-between. My neck was in blocks still and my arm was rested on me in a temporary cast. I was then taken to Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital, under the Trauma Team to a shared room so that I could be observed, Ward 409: Trauma Unit.
My family came flooding in. My little sister Lucy-Jay and her fiance, Gaz. My big sister Hannah and her husband, Joe. My Mom, My Step-Dad (Malcolm) and my Dad. Well, my Mom was already there but I remember this overwhelming moment. I am so lucky that everyone dropped everything to see me, so lucky.
The end of visiting time passed, my family gathered themselves together and I tried to sleep the rest of the day away. Mom stayed by my side, for the whole night, in a chair. Like I said, I’m so incredibly lucky.