Crushed By A Lorry

A les­son learned the hard way…

Pick Me Up! Special - - News - By a Lorry

What is it with teenagers and their head­phones?

‘You’ll end up dam­ag­ing your eardrums with that din,’ I was for­ever telling my daugh­ter Danya, 14, not that she could even hear me over the clat­ter of her mu­sic.

It was Fe­bru­ary this year. Danya was crashed out on the sofa, lis­ten­ing to mu­sic through her head­phones. Again. But she was 14. I never lis­tened to the ad­vice my mum gave me when I was her age!

Half an hour later, I’d dragged Danya off the sofa to walk with me to the Co-op at the end of the road.

I’d left my lit­tle boy, Ashby, four, at home with his dad, Danya’s step­dad and my fi­ancé, John.

We stopped to cross the road. Well, I stopped. Danya marched straight across. ‘Mind out!’ I cried, pulling her back. ‘Did you even look where you were go­ing?’ I said. ‘You could’ve been run over!’

We did our bit of shop­ping and for­got about it.

But the next morn­ing, as Danya was pack­ing her bag for school, I re­mem­bered what had hap­pened.

‘Try to be care­ful cross­ing the road,’ I told her. ‘Yes, Mum,’ Danya said. Then she put her head­phones in, cranked up the vol­ume and set off through the front door.

Just sec­onds later, I heard the sound of tyres screech­ing to a halt out­side. And then… BANG!

‘Wait there!’ I said to Ashby before run­ning out­side. It was ut­ter con­fu­sion. An HGV had just stopped dead in the mid­dle of the road,

the driver shak­ing be­hind the wheel.

A hand­ful of schoolkids were look­ing shocked, and some of them were cry­ing.

And there, un­der­neath the wheels of the HGV… ‘DANYA!’ I screamed.

She wasn’t mov­ing, looked dead. There was blood all over.

The skin on her left leg had been torn open, her an­kle bone pro­trud­ing straight through it.

‘Stay with me, Danya,’ I cried, kneel­ing down. Sud­denly, she moaned. She was alive! I’d read about mov­ing peo­ple with in­juries, and I was scared to do more dam­age. So, I knelt be­side her. I could hear the mu­sic still blar­ing loudly from her head­phones. ‘Ev­ery­thing’s go­ing to be OK,’ I told her. But was it? Pulling my mo­bile from my pocket, I called John at work. Some­one had al­ready called 999. And then I looked at the driver. I knew what’d hap­pened – Danya had had her mu­sic on too loud, and she’d stepped out into the road with­out look­ing. ‘I’m sorry,’ I mouthed to him. Within sec­onds, John and the am­bu­lance ar­rived. Danya was barely con­scious. ‘Stay here with Ashby,’ I told John before me and Danya were whisked off to Der­ri­ford Hos­pi­tal. There, the doc­tor had bad news. ‘We need to put Danya into a coma,’ he said. ‘She has se­vere head in­juries and we can’t risk her mov­ing it at all.’ She’d bro­ken her col­lar­bone, pelvis, rib, left leg and an­kle. And, even more ter­ri­fy­ing, there was a bleed on her brain. A se­ri­ous

I heard the screech of tyres then a bang

bleed. ‘Danya prob­a­bly won’t

sur­vive this,’ the doc­tor said gen­tly. She was trans­ferred to Bris­tol’s Fren­chay Hos­pi­tal and taken for emer­gency surgery.

Sur­geons re­moved an eight-inch seg­ment of Danya’s skull, above her right eye­brow, to re­lieve the pres­sure build­ing up in her brain from the bleed­ing. ‘Please fight, Danya,’ I prayed.

After the six-hour op, she was taken to ICU, where I could see her.

The hole in her skull was cov­ered with skin and ban­dages. The doc­tor warned she could be in a coma for the next six months. Now, all I could do was wait. And pray. Then, after just nine days,

Danya stirred. Her hand at first, just a small twitch.

A few min­utes on, her eyes be­gan to open and she saw me.

‘I love you, Mum,’ she croaked. I started to cry. Doc­tors said it was a mir­a­cle. They hadn’t ex­pected her to make it.

As she got stronger, I told her what had hap­pened.

She couldn’t re­mem­ber any­thing. ‘I was so stupid,’ she cried. ‘The driver must’ve been so up­set.’

He hadn’t been charged. We all knew it wasn’t his fault. Danya was in hos­pi­tal for the next three months. She had loads more op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing one to insert an acrylic plate in her skull to cover the hole.

She’d have to wear a spe­cial hel­met for the next four months while the plate set­tled into po­si­tion.

As soon as we were home, she was back to her nor­mal self.

And, of course, she’s lis­ten­ing to her mu­sic again!

In the months since then, Danya’s started back at school.

But the most im­por­tant les­son she’s learned has to be the sim­plest. Stop, look and lis­ten. Danya’s learned the hard way. Make sure your kids don’t have to.


Danya learned her les­son the hard way

Back on her feet with Ashby

Zarina Cope, 40, Ply­mouth

Danya had been warned about wear­ing head­phones

She spent three months in hos­pi­tal

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