Her right leg could not be saved and was amputated above the knee. But the 26-year-old remembers nothing of the night her life changed forever – other than saying goodnight to her grandmother. Kelly, who left the house in her pyjamas, said she believed she sleepwalked from her bed into her Mini Cooper convertible before the massive crash. “I know what I have been told, that I was out with friends, my ex-boyfriend dropped me home and my nan saw me go to bed,” she said. I don’t know why I got into my car a few hours later, but I was found in my pyjamas. I used to sleep walk as a child and I can only assume I must have slept walked that night, which is incredibly scary. I have no memory of being in the car or the crash itself, I suspect I will never really know what happened but one thing I do know is that I am lucky to be alive.”
Kelly spent four months recovering at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham after the crash, which saw her thrown out of the Mini and trapped beneath the wreckage. It happened in Brook Road, Billesley, half a mile from the home she shared with her nan, on the morning of May 19, 2013.
She suffered a brain injury and severe burns, has undergone a string of operations to reconstruct parts of her face and still needs more cosmetic surgery.
She said: “I’m not upset about my leg – I count my lucky stars that I am alive. I haven’t really had dark days, but I am impatient so I have found the recovery process very slow.”
“I know it sounds silly but I am only 5ft tall and I used to live in high heels so I’m gutted I will probably never wear a stiletto again, but I never had a moment when I thought: ‘I’ve lost my leg what am I going to do?’
“After I awoke from the coma my family had to tell me every day what had happened to me. The brain injury meant I wouldn’t remember from one day to the next. I used to have a diary next to my bed where visitors would write down the day and time and what we talked about.
“I would wake up the next day and read it to find out who had been to see me as I could never remember.”
Having already completed a daring abseil in aid of patients at QEHB in 2015, as well as becoming a Patient Advocate for QEHB Charity, Kelly is set to embark on a new challenge as she joins thousands of others at the annual Morrisons Great Birmingham 10K, which takes place in the city centre on Sunday 30 April.
She said: “I’ve been training using my new blade, which was weird at first, but now I’m getting the hang of it. I’m not sure how much of the race I will be able to run, but I’ll definitely do my very best to complete the course on the day!”
The race is open to people of all abilities and includes several musical waves featuring hits from the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 000s. Running as part of QEHB Charity’s team gives you access to training hints and tips, a free professional running vest and plenty of cheering on the day, as well as support leading up to the event.