Sunday 17 January 2016

Week 1 - Erasmus Hospital, Rotterdam.

In the early hours of Sunday morning I had my first operation which was to secure the wound on my back, stitching all the layers back together. There was a severe amount of muscle damage, some of which had already died and had to be removed, along with complete tears through the all the ligaments.

By 10am my mum, fiancee Oli and coach Justin Grace were over. Oli told me how doctors and surgeons sat them down in a room before they came to see me to inform them of exactly what had happened - I can't imagine how bad this must of been. As I woke up I kindly greeted them with projectile vomiting! All the injuries meant that I had to lay flat so I was unable to direct it anywhere other than a fountain all over myself..nice. I then had the joy of having a gastro nasal tube put in which was equally as bad.

Blood being drained from around my spine
The joys of the gastro nasal tube
I was completely wiped out from the fentanyl right up until my second operation, on Tuesday 12th, involving stabilising my pelvis/SIJ joint. This fixation saw a large screw come into my pelvis, after a thorough debridement.

By Thursday 14th I was ready for some visitors. I had so many nice flowers and gifts off everyone, in particular a sweet elderly couple who had witnessed the crash that night, Henk & Irene, who actually visited me twice. Secondly Shanne and Elis, the girl I collided with came. Elis was only in hospital overnight and had minor injuries which I was pleased to hear. Next came the rest of the Dutch sprinters who had a card signed by all the 6day riders which was great to read.

Friday was the day that Erasmus deemed me stable enough to fly home! I waved Oli and Mum off in the early hours, and waited for Air Med UK staff to come and collect me. A really lovely lady and man were the ones looking after me for the journey (I was so high on drugs I can't remember their names!!). Both kept me fully entertained and tried to keep me as preoccupied and relaxed as possible whilst flapping around in the wind in a tiny plane!

Wrapped up and ready to go in my private plane!
Eventually I arrived at Stepping Hill in Manchester with pain levels now pretty high. Oli, Mum, Dad and sister Amelia, were all waiting for me which made my arrival home even better. After using the fentanyl for only just under a week I had severe withdrawal symptoms which was quite scary. I was shaking and punching the sides of my bed along with unbearably itching everywhere. After what seemed like a lifetime I managed to get over this - morphine I'm sure helped! Now the journey continued in the UK..

V x



  1. Good luck with your continued recovery. I've got you pencilled in for the story of the 2020 Games.

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