Tash's Lands End to John O'Groats Walk

So this is quite personal for me to share my full story, because only nearest and dearest really know it all because they lived through it with me (but I figured I can't really ask you for your money and sponsorship with out giving you a bit of background). So bare with me it's a long one!

It all started on the 23rd of March 2011 when I was passenger in an RTC. It wasn't pretty so I'll spare you the details, but the little Citroen Saxo I was travelling in ended head on with a great big Isuzu Trooper and I was left "trapped and crushed between the handbrake and dashboard".

I'm not going to lie it was awful experience and I am truly relieved that once I knew there was a paramedic there I "conked out". If I could forget the feeling of my neck cracking and bracing myself for the inevitable - trust me I would.

I can only give you snippets of the coming months based on what my mum has filled me in on, and my own sparse recollections, but here we go:

I was taken to RD&E by air ambulance under the incredible care of air paramedic Nigel Lang (who has since become a good friend, and my youngest sons God father).

I was rushed to theatre to stabilize my neck (my neck is now fused with metal rods).

I was then transferred to Derriford, Plymouth where I had an amazing surgeon who compared my pelvis to completing a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle (parts of it are still loaded with screws and plates - airports are always an exciting time now).

Back up to RD+E I went after a few weeks in Derriford's ICU to compare how their ICU was, but I was still having an extra long sleep so I have to take my mums word that it was ok.

(You can also add in copious tests and scans, plus an operation to stop internal bleeding somewhere, but so much happened I wont bore you with an extremely long list, oh and I was reopened and given a wash out at one point as well, so that's 2 more life saving operations taking my total to 4)

The rest of my long stay at RD+E is a blur for everyone, except I do have a really clear memory of my vicar coming to visit , and another of picking lavender when someone pushed me out for a "walk" (I was wheelchair bound). Oh and the police officer having to interview me sat on the floor because I wasn't allowed a "normal" hospital bed because I kept throwing myself out of it.

Skip passed all the horrid bits, and ignore me being a dreadful patient (especially to the ward physio who I quite rightly told on several occasions how she should do her job, and to which ever nurse copped giving me my daily blood clotting injection - oh my the pain!) and we get to August 2011 and my transfer over to Mardon Neurological Rehabilitation Centre, I'd like to say I became the model patient but let's just say I stayed the same stubborn independent 19 year old!!

I was originally told "you may never walk again", but that soon changed to "you will always have to have a wheelchair just incase you get tired", I walked out of mardon several months later (admittedly I got the the end of the path and slumped back into the chair and got wheeled to the car but shhh).

Again we'll skip the ongoing rehab at home because that really is long and boring.  I'll sum it up by saying there's been a lot of frustrations, pain, tears and tantrums.

Here's are some highlights though: -

I'm walking independently 100% of the time (the day my wheelchair was returned to NHS was an awesome feeling)

- I've abseiled down the Exeter fire services training tower

- I've reached the bottom of the Cascades d'Ouzoud in Morocco (and back!)

- I walked down the aisle to my amazing husband

- I've had 2 more beautiful children (my first son was 6 months old when I was in the crash)

- I have completed Hadrian's Wall (90miles virtually)

- I have virtually cycled the grand canyon

- I have virtually cycled the circumference of crete (1064km!!!)

- I've achieved 2 diplomas and have started studying a criminology and law degree

‐ I'm ¼ of the way from Bondi beach to Alice Springs (2021 miles, virtually obviously)

- And I have raised an awful lot of money for the Devon Air Ambulance and decided I'm not stopping there. 

Don't get me wrong I have in no way made a full recovery and I'm not making light of the "disability" I've been left with - it is far from ideal but sometimes you just have to make the most of the cards you've been dealt.

But let me give you an insight into my life now:

-I have shocking balance

- I can't do a lot of simple every day tasks

- I walk as though I've had a few too many to drink (unless I'm drunk then I walk perfectly haha)

- I have been left with permeant brain damage

- I have limited use of my left arm/hand

- I speak weird because of damage to my throat from the Tracheotomy I had to have in order to breathe

- I have to be extra careful as I choke a lot easier - even thin air

- I can't control my emotions

and as if that's not bad enough I have found a new love for cauliflower cheese (after detesting it for 19 years, I suddenly started loving it) 

So that brings me to the point of this page, initially I was aiming for over £1000 and £1 per km, but then Covid really look hold and I realized that was a little too ambitious with furlough and everything else, so I'm going for £400.

You've read my story and those that know me will know this is a charity close to my heart and very deserving, so please please PLEASE share my page and donate anything you can.

THANK YOU!!!
  • Fran Edwards 
    • £20 
    • 6 mos
  • Russell Edwards 
    • £10 
    • 6 mos
  • Sarah Backhouse 
    • £10 
    • 10 mos
  • Hilary Corlett 
    • £20 
    • 13 mos
  • STUART Gray  
    • £10 
    • 13 mos
See all

Organizer

Natasha Dawn Harris 
Organizer
Bovey Tracey, South West England, United Kingdom
Devon Air Ambulance Trust Ltd 
Registered nonprofit
Donations eligible for Gift Aid.
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