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Sarahlouise Findlay lucky to be alive after crash in Rushenden

By Chloe Holmwood

A woman who suffered seven fractured ribs and a collapsed lung after a horrific car crash five months ago now says she is lucky to be alive.

Sarahlouise Findlay also suffered a broken ankle and two broken toes when her Citroen C1 was hit by another vehicle in Rushenden Road, Rushenden, at about 6.40pm on Monday, October 9 last year.

The 49-year-old had to be cut from her car by firefighters and taken to Medway Maritime Hospital. Mrs Findlay, of First Avenue, Rushenden, said she could only remember parts of the crash, due to her falling in and out of consciousness.

Sarahlouise suffered several fractured ribs and a collapsed lung in the accident
Sarahlouise suffered several fractured ribs and a collapsed lung in the accident

“I remember driving up Rushenden Road and was about to turn right into First Avenue when it happened,” she said.

“All the airbags went off in the car, then I remember having to have my jumper cut off in hospital.”

After having a number of tests, Mrs Findlay had to go into surgery to have her ankle realigned. She was allowed home on Friday, October 20, but three days later she had to go back into Medway hospital as she had difficulty breathing.

A series of tests found Mrs Findlay’s lung had collapsed. She was placed into an induced coma before being transferred to Guy's Hospital in London to be operated on.

Almost one month after the accident – on Friday, November 3 – Mrs Findlay was discharged and now she’s on the road to recovery.

“When I got home I had to sleep in my lounge on a hospital bed. I couldn’t get up the stairs. I had to use a Zimmer frame and a wheelchair to get around.

“I’m still in pain with my ribs, my lung hurts and I have to walk with a stick at times as I can’t walk for long distances. I also have post-traumatic stress disorder but I’m a fighter."

Sarahlouise's car after the crash
Sarahlouise's car after the crash

Mrs Findlay went back to work at the beginning of December and started driving again at the end of January. “I am under counselling now,” she said.

“It’s important for me because I relive the crash every Monday. I also have to have physiotherapy every two weeks to get the strength back in my hips.

“My doctors and counsellors said I shouldn’t have gone back to work that early, but I had to. I had no money coming in. “My husband Martin also lost work over it.

"He didn’t know if I was going to make it or if he was going to bury me.”

“I am under counselling now. It’s important for me because I relive the crash every Monday - Sarahlouise Findlay

When asked how she felt to get behind the wheel again, Mrs Findlay said: “I had a couple of driving lessons to help get my confidence back but it’s still nerve-racking and I’m very cautious.”

She added: “They said in hospital I should never have survived it. “I believe my mum, Denise, was looking down at me saying you’re not coming up here yet.”

Mrs Findlay is expected to make a full recovery in two years' time. She said: “I’d like to thank the hospitals and our friends, family and neighbours who have been there to support us over these past five months. I wouldn’t have made it without them.”

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