Teenager to start nursing career at the hospital which saved her life after car crash

WHEN Rachael Medlock broke her spine in three places in a car crash, it was the support of friends, family and hospital staff that gave her the strength to recover from her life-threatening injuries. And now Rachael, 19, is poised to begin her career as a

WHEN Rachael Medlock broke her spine in three places in a car crash, it was the support of friends, family and hospital staff that gave her the strength to recover from her life-threatening injuries.

And now Rachael, 19, is poised to begin her career as a nurse at the hospital that saved her life.

Rachael, from Wisbech, had only had her car for three days in December 2006 when she clipped the curb on her way home from work, flipped over, and smashed into a tree.

She survived the impact with a broken neck and severe brain injury and was in a coma at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge for two weeks.


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Doctors did not know if Rachael would survive or walk again, but she made a remarkable recovery and plans to start training as a nurse in October.

"I want to go back to Addenbrooke's and I want to be part of the team that looked after me. It's amazing what they did to save my life," said Rachael.

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"I know how vulnerable I felt. Making patients feel safe is important - having been a patient I know how they feel.

"After being in hospital I was so determined to be a nurse."

After the crash, which left her Ford Fiesta a twisted wreck and the passenger side caved in, Rachael was taken from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn to a specialist unit at Addenbrooke's.

She was being kept alive by a ventilator and the swelling on her brain was so bad the surgeons considered lifting up the top of her skull to relieve the pressure.

Rachael has now completed a course in health and social care and has been provisionally accepted to start a three-year nursing course at Anglia Ruskin University later this year, with a placement at Addenbrooke's.

As well as being inspired by staff to go into nursing, Rachael also fundraises for the hospital.

"I have just raised �1,270 for Addenbrooke's because it cost over �1,500 a day just to keep me in the Neuroscience and Critical Care Unit," she added.

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