Sustained Leg Fractures And Bowel Injury In Head-On Collision
A South London woman seriously injured in a crash has achieved a “big milestone” in her recovery by returning to work more than four years after the collision.
Melania Tackie-Abia, from Chelsea, was driving along Leyton Road in East London when her car was hit head-on by another vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road in June 2016.
She was taken by ambulance to hospital. She was found to have sustained a catalogue of serious injuries including leg fractures and a perforated bowel, for which she underwent 12-hour emergency surgery.
Following the crash, Melania instructed serious injury experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate and help her access the specialist rehabilitation and therapies she requires.
Melania, 29, is now joining her legal team at Irwin Mitchell in marking Road Safety Week by highlighting the importance of taking care on the roads, after the insurers of the other driver admitted liability.
Expert Opinion“Melania has been through so much over the past four years and is still trying to come to terms with the long-term effects of the crash and what it means for her future.
Through our work, we sadly see families devastated as a result of collisions on the roads. While we can’t change what has happened to Melania, we’ll continue to support her by helping her access the treatment and support she needs.
As part of Road Safety Week, we also urge others to learn from Melania’s story and stay safe on the roads at all times.”
Stephanie Pelling - Associate Solicitor
Melania was driving home alone from her cousin’s birthday party on 26 June, 2016. She had not been drinking alcohol and recalled travelling along Leyton Road when an oncoming car swerved into her lane and hit her head-on.
She told her legal team that she struggled to get out of the car, as the door had been crushed. A group of people passing by stopped to help get Melania out of the vehicle.
She was taken to hospital where scans and X-rays confirmed a perforated bowel, an injury to her abdominal wall, and several leg fractures. She underwent 12 hours of surgery before being admitted to the intensive care unit.
Shortly after surgery, Melania developed a blood clot and was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis as a result of her injuries. On 28 June, she began experiencing breathing difficulties. Doctors were concerned she may suffer a pulmonary embolism.
On 3 July, Melania underwent further surgery to her right knee. She was also given blood thinning injections.
Melania remained in intensive care for three weeks, before being transferred to the general trauma ward, where she began physiotherapy.
She was discharged from hospital on 7 August to the home she shared with her mother, Mary, 60, and sister, Sherma, 33. As she was unable to get upstairs, a makeshift bedroom was set up for her in the living room downstairs. She used a wheelchair and crutches to get about.
Melania attended physiotherapy sessions between January 2017 and early 2018. In March 2018, she required further knee surgery where part of the bone around her knee joint was shaved.
Four years on from the accident, Melania lives with her partner Vernon, 26, and one-year-old daughter Melaysia.
She still has problems with her knees, including locking, and ongoing pain in her legs. She also suffers from low mood and anxiety at times. However, she is continuing with her recovery and has now returned to work as a hospital administrator.
Melania said: “The past few years have been truly awful. I had so many flashbacks and nightmares about the accident while I was in hospital, and it’s really affected my confidence. I even took some driving lessons to help me with my travel anxiety and start driving again.
“After it happened, the pain I experienced was unbearable at times and my legs would be so swollen and stiff, making it incredibly difficult to get about.
“I still struggle now and I’m worried about the long term impact of my injuries and how I may be limited in doing things as I get older. I’m also worried whether there will be things I can’t do with Melaysia, but I try to remain positive.
“I know there is nothing I can do to change what I have been through, but I want to stay strong for my family, who have been a remarkable support to me through everything.
“Getting back to work was a big milestone for me and I’m determined to continue with my recovery by taking each day at a time. All I can hope for now is that others realise what devastation can happen on the roads, as I wouldn’t anyone else to go through what I have.”
On 2 February 2017, the driver of the other vehicle was convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was jailed for 26 months and disqualified from driving for five years.
Road Safety Week takes place from 16 to 22 November and is co-ordinated by Brake.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling serious injury cases