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Brave mum Laura Percival back home after near-death accident
“I JUST needed to be back at home and back with my kids. I need to be a mum again.”
Those are the words of brave, determined mum Laura Percival who, incredibly, is back home with her family in Basingstoke just weeks after she was involved in a life-changing near-death accident.
Last week, Laura spoke exclusively to The Gazette about how the terrifying incident unfolded outside her Willoughby Way home, in Winklebury.
Laura only had a split second to react as a car careered towards her as she stood with her daughter Freya in her arms outside their home on the afternoon of Thursday, September 5.
Laura had put six-year-old Harley and her youngest son Corey, aged one, in her own car on the road before returning to her home with Freya briefly to pick up her daughter’s blanket.
Laura said: “I remember I was locking the front door and I heard this awful noise. I turned and saw the car coming towards me and I just threw Freya and started to turn the other way when the car hit me.”
The 26-year-old mum took the full impact of the Honda Civic, which crushed her against the wall of her home.
She said: “I was in shock – I looked down and I couldn’t see any blood but I knew something was wrong. I felt this pain in my back. My legs were numb.
“I couldn’t see Freya. I lost my vision but I could hear everything around me. I remember telling people around me: ‘I’m going to die’.”
Laura’s pelvis was shattered and four of the bones in her back were broken in the accident, leaving her unable to walk.
But incredibly, just weeks after the horrific ordeal, the mum-of-three is now back at home.
Laura said: “I just needed to be back at home and back with my kids. I need to be a mum again. The doctors didn’t expect me to be out of hospital so soon, but I was determined.”
Laura faces months of recovery, and it could be up to two years before she is properly back on her feet.
She still has a large metal ‘cage’, known as an ex-fix, holding her shattered pelvis together and she is mainly confined to her bed. She is on a huge amount of pain relief medication and has daily visits from nurses.
Doctors hope that, with physiotherapy and a potential skin graft, Laura will eventually make a full recovery, but she will always be in pain, and may never be able to have another child.
Laura said: “I have good days and bad days. The most important thing is that my kids are alright and I’m lucky to be here in a lot of ways. But our lives have been completely turned upside down. It’s hard not to think ‘what if’”.
Laura was taken by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital, where she stayed for two weeks before being transferred to Basingstoke hospital to be closer to her children.
Laura said: “They are all that matter to me. People have said to me that I’m a hero but I just did what every mother would have done.”
When she returned home last Thursday, with the help of her husband Gary, 31, Laura was able to venture out in a wheelchair to pick up Freya and her eldest son Harley, from Winklebury Infant School.
She said: “It meant so much to be able to surprise them and to pick them up just like everything was normal.”
She added that she had vowed to get home in time for Freya’s fifth birthday last Friday.
Laura praised her husband, who has been by her side throughout, and the couple are also grateful for all the support they have received from well-wishers.
Gary said: “It has been really hard for us – it is really hard work. But we have had so much support from people. There have been so many people doing so much fundraising and helping us out.”
- A 27-year-old Basingstoke woman, who was driving the Honda Civic, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving and being unfit to drive through drink or drugs. She has now been bailed until November 12, pending further inquiries.
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