I was a wet night in spring 2014 when my life changed for ever. The rural roads near my Dorset home were flooded and the tarmac slick. I was on my way home with my then-boyfriend Chris when a 4×4 driver pulled out in front of us. He swerved to avoid our car, but we skidded through a fence and into a field, where we landed upside down.
Instantly I knew something was wrong with my legs – they looked normal but I couldn’t feel them. My arms wouldn’t move either. I was flown by air ambulance to a hospital in Bristol. I was told I’d fractured three vertebrae in my neck and one had shattered into my spinal cord. I was sent to surgery where my neck was bolted and stabilised.
When I woke up the next morning, my whole family was at my bedside looking pale and tired. They later told me they were warned I might not survive the night. I had, but medics said it was unlikely I’d walk again.
During those first few days, I veered between feeling groggy and angry. I was 22 and I’d been excited about my future. My career as a shop manager was going well and I had plans to go travelling, but that one moment had taken it all away.