A young woman has spoken out about having a large part of her skull removed after being knocked down in a hit and run.
Steph Blake, 22, was in a coma for 19 days following the accident, and suffered swelling on the brain. Her condition forced doctors to make the decision to remove a large part of her skull from the top of her head.
Over a year on, Steph, from Totton, Hampshire, has bravely released her X-ray images as part of Road Safety Week, with the hopes of spreading awareness of the ‘massive’ consequences of failing to drive carefully.
Sadly, Steph’s dreams of working as a cabin crew member were dashed on account of her injuries, and she was unable to take up a position offered to her by EasyJet.
The past year or so has been the most difficult of my life and the incident has affected me in so many ways. I was devastated that I couldn’t take up my cabin crew job and it is difficult not to think about how things could have been different.
However, I have to remember that I’m lucky to be alive. I’m determined to look to the future and move forward with my life.
Nothing will change what has happened, but I just want to encourage people to always be careful on the road. Failing to do so can have massive consequences.
The incident occurred on the morning of June, 22, 2018, when Steph was waiting for a green man before crossing the A35 in Totton.
After the lights changed, Steph stepped out onto the road. However, while one lane of traffic had stopped, a car in the second lane had not.
I remember the cars had stopped and the lane being empty, then I remember a car at my left hip.
I can also remember laying on the ground and think I have memory of people coming to help. After that there is just nothing.
The next thing I recall is waking up in hospital and seeing my Dad.
After being rushed to Southampton General Hospital, Steph was admitted to Wessex Neurological Unit. As well as the six-hour surgery to remove part of her skull, Steph’s traumatic injuries have since required two further operations.
Since the incident, Steph has thankfully made progress. However, she still has to contend with issues such as fatigue, memory loss and concentration, as well as some behavioural issues.
Organised by Brake, Road Safety Week runs from 18 to 24 November.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.