A WOMAN who was in a coma for almost three weeks after being knocked down on a pedestrian crossing is backing a campaign for better road safety.
Steph Blake (22) underwent a six-hour operation to remove part of her skull after her brain swelled following the crash on the A35 Totton bypass last June.
She was due to begin a job with easyJet as cabin crew but instead spent 19 days in a coma at Southampton General Hospital’s neurological unit.
Although Steph, who lives in Totton, is recovering, she still needs specialist rehabilitation. She also suffers with fatigue, memory and concentration loss, and has some behavioural issues.
Steph is speaking out about her injuries to highlight charity Brake’s Road Safety Week, which runs until Sunday.
Despite the green pedestrian light being illuminated and one row of cars waiting at the crossing, as Steph stepped out into the road she was struck by a vehicle in the second lane.
She said: “The past year or so has been the most difficult of my life, and the incident has affected me in so many ways. I was devastated that I couldn’t take up my cabin crew job and it is difficult not to think about how things could have been different.
“However, I have to remember that I’m lucky to be alive. I’m determined to look to the future and move forward with my life.
“Nothing will change what has happened, but I just want to encourage people to always be careful on the road. Failing to do so can have massive consequences.”
Following the incident, she instructed injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell to help her access specialist rehabilitation she requires.
Claire Howard, who is representing Steph, said: “This case is yet another example of the huge effect that road traffic collisions can have on those involved, with Steph suffering devastating, life-threatening injuries which have impacted greatly on her life.
“Road Safety Week is an important time to reflect on what we can all do to ensure road users and pedestrians are always safe from harm.
“We would urge everyone across our region to use the campaign as an opportunity to consider how they could take extra care and make safety their primary concern.”