The Day My Life Changed

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.

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    Thank-you Kristy…what a lovely comment! 🙂 I still whine….trust me…I just try to see the perspective and focus on good stuff! Let me know if you’d like anything making. Many thanks, Shelley xx


    Thank-you Abi for taking the time to have a read…I do remember! 🙂 I’m running out of Lush stuffs so I may be in soon. Many thanks and all the best, Shelley x

  • Abi

    Hi Shelly! Finally got around to taking a look at your site. I’m the girl from the Stratford Lush shop, if you remember. Just wanted to say how incredibly brave and lucky and amazing you are, and all the best with your rehab and healing etc. You’ll get there no problem! Keep doing what you love. Abi


    Thank-you Kristy, I’m only human though. I still get annoyed and upset…but maybe with a little more focus on the positive. I’m going to try and get the majority of things made before my next operation, so if you’d like something, just say. 🙂 I hope that all is going well for you and that you see the positive too. xx

  • Kristy

    You are a seriously brave person Shelley! Your positivity is an inspiration for the rest of us whinging on a day to day basis! Hope your rehab is going well. Love your your crafty stuff too 🙂 xxx


    Hello Susie,
    My accident was on Friday 15th November 2013. Is there a reason that you ask? x

  • susie

    Just seen yr link to yr blog and curiousty got the better… when was the accident if u dont kind me asking? X