I remember that day very clearly. It was Easter Sunday 2019 and it was a really lovely day. I was on my way to visit my dad in Eastbourne to spend the day with him and my sister’s family. It was hot and sunny, and I remember looking at the time because I was only about five minutes away; it was around 11am.
I was heading down the Pevensey bypass and suddenly, I saw a black car coming straight towards me on my side of the road. It was overtaking, which a lot of cars do in that area because it’s a wide road. There was plenty of space, but suddenly the car clipped the one it was overtaking and came straight at me, hitting me head on. I heard the bang before I became unconscious.
I didn’t realise it but I was unconscious for about 15-20 minutes; it felt shorter than that. I woke up feeling warm and dizzy. I could see my windscreen had smashed and what looked like a hedge in front of me. A woman called Jackie, who had been in a car a few behind me with her son Mark, was holding my hand and talking to me. I was struggling to talk but I suddenly realised that my dad was expecting me and wouldn’t know what had happened to me. I knew his number off by heart so I was able to give it to Jackie and she called him to let him know. My sister had already arrived at my dad’s so they both came straight to the crash site.
Paramedics, police and the fire brigade started to arrive and it got very busy around me. It took the fire brigade over an hour to get me out of the car. Thankfully, I had spun into a layby but not hit the crash barriers, otherwise things could have been a lot worse. There was also a field with a gate onto the road right in front of where I had come to a stop, which meant Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex (KSS) was able to land there and their team could reach me without too much difficulty.
It was then that I realised my injuries were quite serious, but I never felt scared once. I am so grateful to the team who were completely calm around me. They explained everything to me carefully as they were doing it and reassured me that it would be okay. I had broken ribs which had caused one of my lungs to collapse, which is why I had found talking difficult.
I had also broken some bones in my back and my left arm had broken in three places. As a result of my injuries I had suffered from internal bleeding. It was definitely serious, but even the doctors said I was lucky that my injuries hadn’t been more severe.
The decision was made to take me to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton by air ambulance. My dad and sister followed by car.