I started writing this as 21st July to now, but it would be a very long blog post, and no one would read it all. I am part of the way through a very big journey. It is a long road, with many challenges along the way. This is the start of my story – this may become a series of blog posts of my journey. I will also be using this series of blog posts as therapy – to get things out and to help me heal. I should probably give advanced warning that this blog might cause upset to some.
A lot of people have heard the story. I’ve told them verbally. This will be the first time I have written it down…..
21st July 2013. A Sunday. Glorious weather. Great day for a bike ride (motorbikes that is). I rode Millicent Bang (my Suzuki GZ125 Marauder) up to St Helens to have breakfast at MMC with my friend Joe. A few of the NWB people were there too. Martin came up and joined us. He’d already messaged me asking if I’d be his pilly bitch. Between the three of us, we decided to go into North Wales for a ride, with me going on the back of Martin’s bike – more fun if you don’t need to be waiting for the 125cc all the time. After some faffing around going to my house to drop Millicent Bang off, and for me to put my textile protective trousers on, then to Joe’s house for even more faffing around, we set off. What will now follow is a description of what happened. Please stop reading if you don’t want to know…..
We set off, with Joe leading, heading for the tunnel. I had my hands in the pockets of Martin’s leathers. The Fireblade didn’t have grab rails. We headed down Moscow Drive, to Green Lane, where we would cross over, to Lister Drive. Joe went across first; Martin and I had to wait a bit for traffic. We crossed onto Lister Drive, and played catch up to Joe. It’s quite a long way up to the sharp left hand bend where we crashed, as you can see from Google street view http://goo.gl/maps/gbaXY (“walk” up and down to see what I mean).
I don’t know what speed we were doing. It is impossible to really tell when you’re pillion. I know Martin had opened it up a bit to catch up with Joe. Before, or just as, we got to that very sharp left hand bend, it felt like we hit something like a kerb., but we were nowhere near the kerb. I believe that Martin had already started to lean the bike to the left to take the bend. Then we hit whatever it was we hit, and the back of the bike came up. A lasting image that I get is of still having my hands in Martin’s pockets, but of being higher up than him (and higher than you are as a pillion). The bike then leaned to the right. I could see the road coming closer. I tried to work out how I could brace myself. Then I knew that we were coming off and that the impact, when it came, was going to hurt. A lot. All the breath was forced out of me as I hit the road. It bloody hurt. Then the next thing I recall is I was on my back, I looked at my leg, which was very painful, and realised it was going in directions a leg should not go in. My breathing was still bad (I thought I was winded), and I could see Martin, lying face down, at right angles to me, very still. I called to him; asked if he was ok; could he hear me. He didn’t respond. I tried to move my leg into a more comfortable position. This attempt failed and I lay back, remembering to keep my head still.
I was aware of people arriving at the scene. I was still in a great deal of pain. I may still have been screaming/crying. I can’t quite remember. My leg was resting on Martin’s legs. I felt them start doing CPR on him. No wonder he hadn’t answered when I called him. I felt them doing the chest compressions. My head was being held so I couldn’t turn to look. Different people appeared in my limited vision out of the space of my crash helmet. I lay there saying “come on Martin. Don’t do this. You’ve been through worse. Come on”. I don’t know how long they continued for. I had no concept of time. I know Joe came back. He looked so very shocked. I worried whether he was ok. The only pain I was aware of was my leg. My breathing wasn’t brilliant, but I thought I was still winded. Someone came over to see if I was doing ok, and I asked how Martin was. I asked if he was going to be ok. The expression on her face told me probably not.
Different people kept coming to hold my head. People were talking to me; telling me to keep talking to them. If I closed my eyes, they would tell me to open my eyes and keep talking. I admit I wanted to sleep. I recall them telling me that the ambulance would be with me soon. Joe kept appearing and disappearing from my periphery. He poked me a few times, and said I’d at least listened to my mother and worn decent pants.
I remember paramedics arriving. I remember someone saying that they weren’t going to continue with this (meaning the CPR on Martin). I heard all of this going on. I remember my trousers being cut off; my boots; my jacket; the irreplaceable tshirt. My bloody festival wristbands, that had been on my wrist (some of them) since 2008. They cut off my Hillsborough wristband. My S.O.P.H.I.E wristband. Worst of all, the bracelet I always wore that Gabby had made for me. Gone 😦 Apparently though, I had a conversation about going for a burger, and Peter was going to come and pick me up. That was without drugs!!
I was taken to hospital in an ambulance. I was asking where Joe was. No one heard me. Or no one was listening. When I arrived at A&E, they confirmed that Martin hadn’t survived, but I knew. They put me in an amazing cocoon. I wasn’t happy when they took me out of it. An awful lot of what happened at A&E is jumbled, or forgotten. I had fun and games telling the staff how to get my piercings out. I had fun and games taking my contact lenses out, including telling my mum off for trying to help. I remember mum arriving and her trying not to cry. I think I said I was sorry. I don’t remember much else.
I sustained multiple injuries. I was not very well, and was treated on the Critical Care Unit and Intensive Care. I fractured the left femur, the left fibula, and sustained a compound fracture of the left tibia. I fractured my right wrist (both ulna and radius). I sustained multiple fractures, with flail chest, of ten of my ribs on the right side. I punctured my right lung, and partially collapsed it. But I survived. And now then the fight to get better started.