This shocking but inspiring story is proof that your life can change in a moment. That is what happened to Kirsty Bell, a former nursery worker from Hawkinge, Kent, UK. She had no way of knowing that simply popping into town to do some shopping one day would leave her in a wheelchair. It happened one sunny afternoon in 2013: Kirsty and her boyfriend Ben were visiting the town centre of Folkestone, England on a hot summer’s afternoon, planning for their upcoming wedding. They were not aware that a freak accident was about to turn their lives completely upside down. The year before the accident Ben had proposed to Kirsty on the London Eye and they were planning the wedding for 2014.
Kirsty’s story has recently been told in an episode of British TV’s Channel 5 documentary series: Where There’s Blame, There’s A Claim. Kirsty says: “We had just come out of the bank when a block of concrete weighing around 70 kg fell off of a building and hit me on the head. It was such a hot day, I thought I had passed out with the heat - I just couldn’t feel any pain to begin with.” The concrete block was part of a shop front, and it caused serious injuries to Kirsty’s head and shoulders.
Kirsty was taken by air ambulance to a south London hospital, and received the tragic news that she would never walk again. She had been left paralysed from the waist downwards. She told her boyfriend Ben that she would understand if he was going to leave her, but he said: “Absolutely not!” So from that moment on, they knew they were in it together, and just had to move forward. Kirsty has not let her accident stop her living life to the fullest.
The couple eventually got married in 2015, and in October of last year they became first-time parents when their son Harry was born. They were especially thrilled as Kirsty was told she may never be able to have children. She is now a full-time wheelchair-user and since the accident she has received a seven-figure sum in compensation to cover the lifetime of personal care costs which she will now need.
She remains positive and unembittered, despite everything: “The injuries could have been so much worse. The concrete block could have killed me outright or given me a brain injury. So just losing the use of my legs was getting off lightly.” (Quoted in the Daily Mail, 28 July)
Picture courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk