“Life changed in a blink of an eye” – digger crash mum’s story.

Alana Rutter-Close, 40, from Whitley Bay, was driving home from a family break when a digger fell onto the bonnet of her car, smashed through her windscreen and hit her in the head.

After a long and painful five year recovery, Alana has decided that now is the time, to tell her heartbreaking yet awe-inspiring story for the first time…

It was 14 April 2014 and I had been to Yorkshire for the weekend with my mum and my son and we were just on our way home. I can’t actually remember any of that weekend we had in Yorkshire now because of the brain injury I suffered that day.

The accident itself, I also don’t remember at all. Only what I have been told…

A low loading vehicle was driving in front of me and it was carrying three diggers. The vehicle hit a bridge and lost its load with one of the diggers falling onto the bonnet of my car. The bucket on the digger then spun around and smashed through my windscreen, hitting me in the head.

I can’t remember GNAAS coming for me, but I have been told by people who attended the accident, that I was conscious for a small amount of time but due to the pain I was in, I was put into a medically-induced coma on scene after having a blood transfusion.

I was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary and was kept in a coma for six weeks. I suffered severe brain damage, skull fractures, a broken jaw, collapsed lung and scarring. I also lost three teeth, as well.

Throughout the six weeks I was in a coma, family and friends thought I was going to die nearly every single day. Once my recovery started, it took around five years before I was even starting to live a ‘semi’ normal life.

I would say now, I am at a point where I have recovered as well as I can and I am so eternally grateful to everyone who supported me in my recovery. So many people have helped me get to where I am today.

GNAAS holds a special place in my heart and always will. I will be forever in their debt for saving my life. My accident made me realise that life can change in the blink of an eye and I am just so happy I am still alive.

It has proved to me how many wonderful people exist in the world and really want to help people and each other.

With your help we will fly on

With all the uncertainty in the world, you can be certain that we’ll be here for you


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