near miss

I have written many very personal and sometimes distressing true tales for my blog. Through my eyes, the one you are about to read is the worst. During this event I experienced the most terrifying moment of my life so far.

WARNING – EMOTIONAL POST

I will take you back to a me when my children were nine and eleven. This period was a strange part of my life as I’d recently left their dad and had a new partner, Keith. He proved to be a good father figure, so I am grateful on that score, but our compatibility was low.

At this point we were at the start of our relationship and I thought I loved him.

So, there we were a reasonably happy looking family unit off to the bowling alley for my birthday treat. The quickest route happened to take in one of the busiest motorways in the southeast of England, during rush hour.

I was in the passenger seat with my eldest daughter, Miss N, sitting behind me and the other, Mona, next to her.

In front of us – a  massive foreign truck. Keith, a careful driver, waited for the right moment before he indicated and steered into the middle lane, ready to overtake.

I remember glancing round at my girls. Mona, all curls, rosy cheeks and smiles was dozing and behind me Miss N was busy tapping away on her mobile phone. Turning, eyes ahead, I experienced a moment of dreadful foreboding. And then it happened.

Looking to my left I momentarily thought – that lorry is awfully close. Indeed, it was. The driver was heading into the same lane as us! We hadn’t quite finished overtaking so when the force of the truck rammed into the car it smashed the back passenger door. This was happening too quickly to say a word. Keith was forcefully trying to keep the car moving in a straight line and avoid hitting any others.

The lorry was now pushing us, passenger side on, along the motorway. The sight before my eyes was beyond what my brain could endure and I passed out. Swooning I suppose. So, the next section was told to me after the event.

The lorry braked – hard. Which allowed us to go shooting down the verge. Apparently the car turned over a few times before eventually coming to a standstill with its roof on the grass bank. We were upside down. Motorway cameras caught all the action.

Mona – I looked over at Miss N and had to laugh as we were upside down, held in by our seat-belts and her really long hair was hanging the wrong way. It was like we were on a fairground ride.

Keith – When the car finally halted I looked over at May and felt her neck. Alive but obviously not conscious. I opened all the windows and climbed out. Knowing she would want me to get the girls to safety first I undid their belts and one at a time pulled them out of the car. Leaving them further along on the bank – I then came back for May and laid her motionless on the grass beside the girls.

Miss N – I couldn’t quite understand why Mum wasn’t talking or moving. I thought she was dead.

I came round just as the emergency services arrived. They were incredible. A that time I lived in a village with it’s own fire station and these guys were first at the scene. My kids had been to tea with their kids and vice-versa.

The paramedics talked to us all and made a rough assessment regarding our physical and mental condition. We were taken in pairs to the hospital. Myself and Miss N were deemed injured in some way. Keith had a minor knee problem and Mona had slight whiplash. The lorry hit the vehicle along the passenger doors so it was understandable why Miss N and I needed more treatment.

My injury was to my left shoulder and even though I’d been unconscious it seemed I hadn’t received a bang on the head. But Miss N had. And soon after we arrived she began to talk and act as if she was taking drugs. Her speech was confused. We could tell she was also having difficulty seeing  properly so the consultant ordered an emergency MRI head scan.

I sat waiting, already having signed myself off from receiving any more treatment, so I could be with her.

Quite soon after the doctor who had assessed the scans came over to me. Her face was full of angst. The first thing she said was,

“Mrs More. I’m afraid it’s very bad news.”

My eyes started to fog over. I thought I was about to pass out again. Felt sick. I wanted to die. Me.

Looking back at this, the worst moment of my life, I think perhaps the Dr should have chosen her words more carefully. But I can’t fault her actions. Miss N had a bleed on the brain which was causing pressure in different areas. A sub-dural hemorrhage . The condition was critical so the first available ambulance immediately took us directly to  the specialist ward at St Thomas’s hospital in London.

Upon arrival Miss N was taken to the intensive care unit and monitored.

The following day involved a second scan before a decision could be made regrading an operation. Thank God the bleeding hadn’t increased which meant there was a possibility it may begin to disperse. The operation was put on hold.

We were moved to a children’s ward. I stayed in the hospital with her for a week while they monitored her signs for any change. It appeared the bleeding had stopped. Now we had a new problem. She had always been slender but because of nausea her weight had plummeted.  They let me take her home before she lost any more.

She slept in with me and I gave her all her favourite meals 😉

Miss N recovered well. For a time she didn’t want to go out at all and we both suffered from the idea that it had been our time – meaning we thought we’d cheated death in some way. It would come for us in the near future. Not rational, but unsurprising considering what we had been through.

All involved received  counselling.

Now she’s a young woman. One who struggles with the concept of  life. She suffers with anxiety and doesn’t  like to be involved in stressful situations. But she is alive and the kind of person who feels deeply and loves hard.

This Near Miss belongs to Miss N not me, but it felt like mine.

We were lucky that day.

  • The car was a diesel Volvo. Very robust and it is only petrol cars that burst into flames.
  • The motorway hard shoulder/verge  didn’t have any barriers.  Crash mats may have caused us further complications.
  • Keith kept his head when needed and miraculously didn’t hit any other cars.

What can I say? Miss N became the most precious thing to me and we all learned that day LIFE IS FOR LIVING…


Image from Pixabay – but looks very much like Miss N now.

#F4TFriday
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36 thoughts on “Darling Near Miss N

  1. I said I was interested in reading this post, and I am, but I was also holding my heart as I was reading it. I could picture it as if it was happening right now, the way wrote it. And I was hoping, against knowing, that it wouldn’t happen?

    The event itself is so scary, and the fact that you had passed out. But I can only imagine the horror of then noticing that your daughters speech is not ok

    I’m so happy everyone got out alive in the end. And thank you for sharing, even though it must be painful or scary to relive in a way?

    1. was hard to go through. Kinda went on some sort of auto pilot – and took long time to get over all the repercussion – still are where some things are concerned. Appreciate your comment x

        1. I was the passenger so I can drive as I am in control but I am a dreadful passenger – truly dreadful lol – and for a long time I thought i had cheated death and the grim reaper would come for me in a different way!

          1. Oh that’s interesting but makes a lot of sense! I wonder if there is a way to reset the system or trick it into no longer fearing because of a previous traumatic experience. I know it’s possible based on reading research but… reality is more complicated!

            Did the reaper ever knock on your door again since?

            I’m sorry I’m honestly facinated by the psychological side of things. There is a thing of survivors guilt like if you’re the only one surviving a plane crash you feel like you should have been dead too or dead instead of the others. And what you’re saying about fearing that the reaper would come back because you perhaps wrongfully escaped death sounds like another kind of thing that would make sense in the context of how the brain and trauma works. I’m a bit of a nerd I guess

  2. what a scary time for all of you. Thankfully, yu are here and blogging and your daughters are well. Glad to know Miss N has this attitude “got to live!”- which is a good attitude to take.

  3. I’m so glad that the story turned out well. An awful situation to be sure, but as everyone recovered, not a terrible one. All the best to you and your family!

  4. What a harrowing situation. I’m so glad everyone survived that relatively intact. Something that lingers and causes a lot of issues so I can understand a lot of her feelings.
    I identify with Miss N in feeling deeply and loving hard. The anxiety bit as well.

  5. What an awful And scary thing to go through- especially with your children! Hugs and love. I imagine even bringing it up again for writing can cause some anxiety again.

  6. Gosh, May, this must have been so terrifying for all of you, and being so helpless when seeing your daughter being seriously hurt, I can not imagine the fear and agony you must have gone through! I am so glad that you all came out of it alright physically, although the experience left emotional scars. Thank you so much for sharing, that must have been a really hard post to write!

  7. Very scary, and very traumatic. When I was 12 I was the passenger in my mothers car when we got T-boned. We had the right of way but the other car was oblivious and drove straight into us. I watched as the car approached in what seemed like slow motion and hit us square in the passenger side door ie right where I was sitting. Luckily we were wearing seatbelts and the impact wasn’t severe.
    It certainly wasn’t as bad as what you went through, but I can understand how deeply affecting it can be. Doubly so for you because your kid was also hurt.

  8. Oh, I am so sorry that you both had to go through this. You have all my sympathies. I was always an anxious child, then as a teenager, I almost killed my mum in a car crash (on April Fools’ Day – couldn’t believe it). It left us both traumatised, and has caused me long-term emotional and psychological damage. I really hope Miss N continues to find a way through it all, and that the stirring up of your own emotions hasn’t caused you any adverse issues. Thank you so much for writing this. It was, in my opinion, a very brave choice.

    1. It is not easy getting over a near death experience – be it yours or someone close to you. I’m sorry it happened with you and your Mum and hope you get better over time.
      Miss N has made progress and continues to do so – but of course it is always there – behind us! <3

  9. What a dreadful harrowing ordeal May. Your recounting of the accident and the aftermath has left me feeling shocked and stunned and it is all playing through my head even after having read it. Thank goodness you all survived. xx

  10. May what a horror for all concerned. You wrote this so well conveying the events rationally but your emotions with the correct gravitas. I suspect writing it has stirred up memories/emotions.
    Thanks for such an honest post. I’m glad you could move on but really sorry it has left your daughters emotions/ attitude forever modified.

    1. Thanks posy and u are right it has stirred up lots of memories. TBH Miss N was always quite anxious in an OCD kinda way – got to do well – i think that changed in that when she became a teen she was still anxious but she thought “got to live!”- which is a good attitude to take. x

  11. What a terrifying ordeal! I can’t imagine how frightening it must have been for you all, and for you then to be faced with Miss N’s serious injury. I’m so pleased that you all made it out alive. Thank you so much for sharing your story xxx

  12. What a horrific experience to go through. To go through that and have it really affect someone you love and the feeling of hopelessness that can come with it.

    Hugs to miss N. Life is for living as you say and that’s a great message to come from this.

  13. So glad that story had a good outcome – it must have been terrifying – I bounced a car onto its roof 40+ years ago and walked away but still remember it so well and it was my fault – Mike

  14. What a story. I could feel your fear through your words, and can’t imagine how it must be when you are in an accident and your kids are hurt. I was in an accident with my parents, but both my brother and I came out of it unharmed. I have never been in an accident with my kids in the car, never been in an accident in my adult life, and I am thankful for that.

    Thanks for sharing your story, May.

    Rebel xox

  15. Oh May, my heart was in my throat reading this. I’m so glad you and Miss N are ok. I can understand the mental anguish from the car accident. I was 17 and driving pet home around 1am, the traffic light had a timing issue and a man turned in front of me. The car caught fire and I was screaming at pet to get out of the car. I had to make the dreaded phone call that no parent ever wants to receive, but I could make the call so we were pretty lucky.
    Thank you for sharing this very touching piece.

  16. Dearest May, I hated reading this about little Miss N, and you of course. Please tell Miss N your American friend wishes her well.

  17. It’s a totally powerless situation, no control over the outcome. Obviously I’m glad to hear that Miss N pulled through, but I am struck by what you say about you both feeling that you dodged ‘your time’ and she still struggles with that. It reminds me of a daughter of friend who had a long battle with leukemia, including many months in hospital, she has survivor syndrome.

    It was only two months ago that I saw the dashcam footage of a foreign lorry side-swiping the car of my domme on the Dartford bridge. Fortunately much lower speed than your crash was, but I could picture your incident quite clearly and it wasn’t pleasant.

    Very best to you and yours. melody xx

    1. Thanks Melody – they call it a side swipe don’t they! I questioned the police and they said the term changes if someone dies! BTW I know Dartford bridge well – I watched it being built! x

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