I thought I should give a little bit of history to this blog, for those that are reading and do not know what has been going on in the last few months.
2015 was going to be the most exciting year ever! I had a flight booked to Perth in Australia, which I was meant to be getting on the 17th March. I had recently met the most amazing guy (that story requires a separate blog post at a later date) and 2015 just filled me with one huge excited ‘bubble’ in my tummy about everything that was to follow for the rest of the year. I was living at home, working for a marketing company full time and working at a local pub part time – saving money for Aus and counting down the days until I would be leaving for Aus and seeing Jeff again. I was getting my fitness back up to scratch, ready to another half marathon, but this time in Aus. It was a very exciting time. I was loving it!
On 31st January 2015 I was in London. As I was living at home in Essex, working two jobs, it was a rare weekend I was able to get up to London so I was really making the most of it. I was going to my friends house for a dinner party, staying at another friends house in and meeting another friend for brunch on the Sunday morning. That was the exciting plan for the weekend…
I was on my way home from Emma’s dinner party, about 1.30am on 1st February, with two friends. We had caught the night bus back to Shoreditch and had just got off the bus. We walked slightly up the road to the crossing, this is where it begins to go hazy, Andrew had already crossed the road, but Conor and I were a little behind. We began to cross the clear road, and within a flash I remember looking to my right and just seeing headlights. My final thought I remember is ‘Oh no, I am going to be hit’ – in a very relaxed manner (not how I would expect to react). My next memory was lying on the snowy road, snow falling in my eyes and Andrews face over mine. Andrew was talking to me, asking me questions; it felt as though I was unable to speak for hours when it was probably a few seconds. I then just started screaming ‘my back, my back’.
The ambulance and police were quick to arrive, according to Andrew and Conor. I don’t really remember much, but I was taken to hospital and straight into resuscitation where a lot of tests, scans and x-rays were done. The pain was indescribable. After a few hours of tests, I was moved onto the trauma ward of The Royal London Hospital where I spent the next 12 days.
By now it was early on the Sunday morning, my family had been called and were now with me on the ward. I had been informed that I had been hit by a drunk driver (who I later found out was also an uninsured driver) and I was told that I had broken my back, my T11 vertebra and fractured my skull. I struggle to remember much from those first few days, but I do remember excruciating pain all over my body, I was not allowed to move at all. I was flat on my back looking up at the hospital ceiling for 8 days. Those first few nights in hospital will haunt me forever – I was so scared, I slept terribly, I had nightmares, flashbacks. However, I had some lovely nurses looking after me and I had to keep a ‘visitor diary’ – to organise all my visitors that were visiting me each day. I definitely kept up a social life! I can’t imagine those weeks in hospital without all my friends and family visiting me, it helped so much and was so lovely to have distractions in the afternoons.
I had to wait 4 days, just knowing I had broken my back and fractured skull. The details were yet to be confirmed by an MRI on Wednesday 4th February, although I knew I could still feel my legs so I just clung to that, believing that I WILL be able to walk again. I don’t really remember having the MRI scan and I only remember bits of what the neurosurgeon told me about the results, I remember the words ‘You are one of the luckiest girls alive’, ‘miracle’, ‘you were millimeters away from paralysis’, ‘you will walk again’ ‘but your back is broken’. He then told me of the options I had – to have spinal surgery which would involve inserting a metal rod and pins to hold my back in place or to wear a back brace for 3 months. Both had their risks, but I chose the natural healing option and decided I wanted to at least try the brace.
After 8 days of flat on my back, not moving at all, they put me in the back brace and slowly I began to sit up a little bit more each day, and after a couple of days I was out of bed and able to sit in a chair for an hour. I then took my first few steps again, an amazing feeling to be walking again (even if I did faint onto my nurses boobs the first time!!).
12 days after being hit, I left hospital to begin my recovery at home, with Mum as my full time nurse. The 12 weeks have been the longest of my life, with so many achievements made, so many frustrations, so much progress, so much pain but each week I have continued to make a step forward. I am not going to write all the ups and downs of the 11 weeks in my brace but I am sure as I begin to now write more regularly for The Sunset Seekers, little bits of that time will come out. It was important for me, to reflect on the past 3 months and to write it all down from the beginning, which is why this post is going to be my first post.
This is something I never imagined to happen to me, nor anyone I know and has really shown that anything is possible (in both a positive and negative way). Although at the start of 2015 I planned to write my first blog post for ‘The Sunset Seekers’ once I was in Australia, this whole accident has shown me that the best made plans can go out the window and you have to make the most of what you have. So for now, I am going to make the most of spending time with my friends and family and I am really excited to blog about my progress and see ‘The Sunset Seekers’ develop into the blog that I always imagined it to be – filled with travel, love, sun and sea. For now, that is my goal.
I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy spending time writing and remember to “put your positive pants on” each day!
Lots of love from
P.S. At home, we now refer to this ‘accident’ as ‘Regina George’ – in relation to Mean Girls, the film, as she also broke her back. It sounds much nicer and less ‘depressing’ to talk about ‘Regina’ rather than ‘hit by a car accident.’ Just incase you were wondering why the random name!