Former Astrophysicist And Legal Team Supports Limb Loss Awareness Month
A former astrophysicist has spoken of her determination to regain her independence after having a leg amputated following a collision with a van.
Dr Alison Broadbent suffered a catalogue of injuries including multiple leg fractures, a fractured pelvis and collarbone as well as degloving injuries where skin was ripped from her arm, hand and leg, when she was knocked down by a van whilst crossing Acacia Road in Bishop Auckland.
The 54-year-old, of Bishop Auckland, required an above the knee amputation of her right leg.
Following the collision she instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help her access the specialist rehabilitation, support and therapies she requires.
Alison, who now has a private rehabilitation package in place, is supporting Limb Loss Awareness Month by speaking out on her recovery so far and how she remains focused on becoming as independent as possible.
Expert Opinion“Through our work we often see how road accidents can turn people’s lives upside down with Alison suffering devastating life-changing injuries in the crash.
“However, she has shown great courage and tenacity to make remarkable progress so far in her recovery.
“Alison still faces challenges ahead but we are working hard to support her and help her access the specialist support she needs to maximise her recovery and make the most of life.
“Limb Loss Awareness Month is an important time to reflect on how people can be affected by such issues but also recognise inspirational people like Alison who are proof that there can be life after serious injury.” Laura Mcilduff - Senior Associate Solicitor & Newcastle Office Early Careers Regional Representative
Alison was a former astrophysicist before becoming a landscape gardener. She was crossing Acacia Road when she was involved in a collision with a Vauxhall Movano Van at around 5pm on 15 November 2018.
The driver was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving but police later decided to take no action against him.
Alison, who was trapped under the vehicle and had to be freed, was taken to James Cook University Hospital. Doctors ruled there was little option other than to amputate her right leg just below the hip. She also underwent a number of other operations including skin grafts. Alison was discharged from hospital on 18 January 2019.
Follow help from Irwin Mitchell and the Blatchford Clinic at STEPS rehabilitation unit - a unit designed to support people with amputation injuries - Alison currently has a privately-funded rehabilitation package in place including a physiotherapist and occupational therapist to assess her ongoing needs.
While she has made significant progress, Alison continues to endure issues with her right arm and hand, whilst she also suffers from phantom pains around the site of her amputation.
Irwin Mitchell is working alongside a range of people including a case manager as it looks to ensure Alison has the support she needs. The law firm also arranged for specialist architects to assess her house and garden to consider how it could be adapted to meet her needs.
Alison has also undergone an initial trial at STEPS, allowing her the chance to trial a prosthetic leg. Following her trial she is now looking at the possibility of osseointegration – a procedure which would see an artificial implant connected directly into the bone in her leg.
Alison said: “I don’t remember anything about the collision but I recall being trapped under the van and paramedics asking me to stay conscious. Being told that I would lose a leg was awful and I did wonder how I would cope.
“But I quickly thought I can’t let what happened define me and I wasn’t putting my life on hold.
“There have been some difficult times but what I have been through has also made me determined to push forward and get the best that I can from life. The support I have received has been amazing.
“Being able to trial a prosthetic was a major boost and I am hopefully of being able to do more on that front.
“Life was never going to be the same and I can’t undo what has happened, however, that doesn’t need to mean life has to be bad. I’m determined to stay positive and keep working hard to get my independence back.”