Two weeks before her 21st birthday, Alex was focused on hailing a taxi when she stepped out onto the road and was hit by a van. Eighteen months later and having started her final year at university, she reflects on the journey she has made since – both emotionally and physically – and how grateful she is to the teams that helped her get to where she is today.
“It was the 15th May 2014 when my partner at the time and I were making our way to St. Pancras International from Farringdon. We were looking forward to a belated Valentine’s Day present to France. How romantic that one turned out to be!” Alex chuckles.
The injuries that Alex sustained included a severe head injury, collapsed lungs and cracked ribs. As it was night time, London’s Air Ambulance attended to her by rapid response car and treated her on scene with the London Ambulance Service, putting Alex in a medically induced coma to prevent further head injury. She was then taken by road to The Royal London Hospital for further care.
“I’m so grateful for all of the treatment that I have received, from the doctors and paramedics that arrived on scene to the hospitals and practitioners that have, and still do, support me. Physically, I still have some scars, but remarkably, I’m relatively well recovered.”
These words come from someone who as part of their recovery had rehabilitation to help her learn how to walk again, and whose parents 'spent endless hours at her side' unsure of what would be the outcome for their daughter. “Fortunately, I don’t remember much of the hard times. My poor parents on the other hand, who were such a great support to me during the six month journey of my recovery, were the ones who sat by my hospital bedside, uncertain as to what was going to happen tomorrow.”
Now 22, Alex demonstrates wisdom beyond her years. Expressing what she has learnt about herself since that day and how she has developed personally, Alex says: “I used to be terrified of public speaking, now I am much more confident. For me, the accident has taught me valuable life lessons and I’m much more open minded. My one piece of advice to people would be to try and not be so self-critical and don’t deprive yourself of exciting new challenges and opportunities – grasp them and go with the flow.
“I take the time now to do more of the things that make me happy, like playing the guitar, doing sport and enjoying time with my friends. I graduate next year and I’ve already made plans to go inter-railing across Europe.”
Talking about the support she received from London’s Air Ambulance, she said: “Before the incident I didn’t realise that it was a charity. Knowing this now makes me even more in awe of what its teams do every day to help save lives in London, and I feel privileged to count myself as one of those. I want to say thank you so much to everyone who volunteers their time to the charity, donates, or supports it in some way, shape or form. Your help really does make a difference.”