The date was the 11th August 2018, the time was 4.40am and life as I knew it was to change forever…
I was distracted crossing the road, involved in a road traffic collision and my life, my family’s life and no doubt the drivers live as we all knew it changed forever. I was left completely paralysed.
The Anniversary of my accident always seems to brings up a lot more emotion for my family (especially Mum and Dad) more than it does for myself. I guess I have never dwelled too much on what happened that night, partly because I don’t really remember the actual event or the few days after it, but also because that’s the way I’ve chosen to deal with things. I can’t change what happened and I accept that. I know that in front of me my family try to remain strong but once they’re back at home I know that they will let their emotion show. Everyone deals with things differently.
I have always done something with my family and friends to mark the occasion whether it’s just a meal, or this year a party, with the people closest to me.
Why do I recognise the anniversary of my accident? For a few reasons really.
Firstly, we recognise that it could have been very different story that night. I have realised this more than ever this year after discovering that the Emergency Services at the scene of my accident didn’t expect me to survive due to the severity of my injuries.
It’s also a way to recognise and celebrate what I have achieved over the last year. Whether it was the fact that I was no longer dependent on my ventilator, that I had moved into my own home or the main celebration this year is that Road Safety Talks has achieved more than we ever thought possible. Every positive is worth celebrating.
For me though, it is a way of thanking those around me for all they have done for me.
As always, I would like to thank all the amazing staff at Harrogate District Hospital, Leeds General Infirmary and The Northern General Hospital in Sheffield who have treated and supported me over the last 11 years and to my team of Staff at home who support me to live as independently as possible. It was an honour to be invited back to Sheffield this week, especially with it being the anniversary of my accident, to speak about my experience and so lovely to see everyone again.
To all those who have come into my life through the Road Safety Talks project over the last 3 years and for all the support you have given to us. I enjoy working with you all so much and thank you for the opportunities you are giving me.
To the Police Officer who supported my Family on the night of my accident and who still remains anonymous! I am so grateful that we have had the opportunity to meet you again and that you are now part of our lives. To be able to do so 10 years after my accident was one of the highlights of the last year for me and I know how much it meant to my Mum and Dad too.
Most importantly I would like to say a huge thank you to my Family and Friends who have been there for me through the good and not so good times. Without your love, care, support and friendship I wouldn’t be where I am today.
So here is to the next year and all that it may bring!
‘Looking back gives you regrets, looking ahead gives you opportunities.’