Grandmother speaks of how she was trapped under a reversing vehicle for two hours
A grandmother left seriously injured in an horrific accident in Fleetwood town centre has spoken for the first time about how her life “changed in the blink of an eye”.
The whole thing happened so quickly and I just felt shock when I was hit
Gill Neve, 66, of Mount Street, Fleetwood was trying to cross Lord Street when she collided with a white van on Wednesday, March 18.
As shoppers looked on in horror, Mrs Neve ended up underneath the wheels of the vehicle and remained trapped for two hours while paramedics and firefighters worked valiantly to help her.
After being freed she was airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital, where surgeons were able to save her crushed left leg.
Mrs Neve, a mental health support worker, has now paid tribute to the various professionals who helped and the kind-hearted Fleetwood people who are still supporting her.
She has also joined calls for an extra pedestrian crossing somewhere in the centre of Lord Street, so people have more of a chance to cross safely.
Mrs Neve, who has two daughters, Leonie and Sarah, and five grandchildren, said: “The whole thing happened so quickly and I just felt shock when I was hit.
“After that I was in and out of consciousness, but at some stage I was more aware of where I was and what was happening.
“I was in pain and it was frightening but what helped me was that I had been to India and learnt about meditation.
“I was able to zone out, even though I was trapped there under the van.”
Mrs Neve incredibly managed to escape any injuries to vital organs which could have killed her. But her left leg was still seriously injured and she was at risk of losing it.
She said: “My muscles and tendons were crushed and I was lucky not to need an amputation.
“The surgeons at Preston were brilliant and they also managed to save 80 per cent of the damaged skin on my left leg.
“The doctors said another thing that helped was that I was so fit for my age. I have been to a personal trainer for the last two years and it got me through it.”
Mrs Neve added: “I’m just glad to still be alive but my life did change in the blink of an eye. I have gone from being a moderate wage earner who has always paid her way to having no income other than Statutory Sick Pay, which is quite a drop in money.
“I am positive and I plan to be back in work by the end of May, but the next two months will be difficult.”
She now faces an intense period of physiotherapy to recover from her injuries but hopes to avoid any lasting damage, apart from scarring.
However, work colleagues and people in Fleetwood have rallied round to help.
Fellow staff at mental health service Creative Support have launched an online appeal to raise cash to help Gill rebuild her life.
Val Hesketh, who runs Creative Support’s Warrenhurst Court unit where Gill works, has set up a GoFundme appeal for Gill.
Now her colleagues have vowed to do what they can to raise as much money as possible to help Gill through rehabilitation and everyday expenses.
Val said: “Gill is home now, she is a very determined lady.
“She is very well thought of and does a lot of work in the community and we would very much appreciate anything people can give.”
Val told how staff at Creative Support, which works with young adults who have long term complex needs, found out about the accident.
“Gill has been working with us since October and we had just interviewed her for a permanent job here.
“An hour later the accident happened.
“We had heard that something had happened but we didn’t know it was Gill. We became concerned when she failed to turn up for her shift, which was completely unlike her and we made enquiries.
“It just knocked us all for six, I told everybody that day because I didn’t want them finding out from anyone else.
“The atmosphere was so flat, we were asking why it had to happen to her.”
To give to Gill’s appeal log on to www.gofundme.com/q5bb7ggc/
A donation page has also been set up on facebook - “Get Gill Back on Her Feet” campaign.
And Jackie and John Murray, of gift shop Plush are planning a fund-raiser was well.