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Car Crash!

On our latest visit to Switzerland we had an accident. Latest news.
Drifting over to the side of the road, we hit a barrier, the type that start at the ground and rise up to normal height, and the car turned over.
The roof collapsed and we skidded along upside down for what seemed like forever.
When we stopped we found that Grandma Young was okay with just bruises, Rebecca was okay she had some grazes from crawling from the wreck, Alison was mostly okay and just needed a few stitches in cuts she got from flying glass. Jon was okay, but Jacqui was badly hurt. She had been driving and when the car flipped over, she had been on the leading edge of the car as it skidded, her hair went through the window and was dragged under the roof, it pulled her head out of the window and into contact with the road surface. There was a skid mark of hair, hair and skin, hair skin and blood, then just blood which ran for about 30 meters up to the car.
She lost a lot of skin from her forehead, impacted her left sinus and broke her neck and her nose. She was unconscious and badly concussed. There was some minor bleeding within the skull which was fortunately too small to warrant any intervention.

"I was so lucky not to loose her! At first I thought she was dead, than I saw her convulse, trying to breath, her mouth was closed and her nose had gushed blood which was congealing, blocking her airways. It was my first moment of triumph as I cleared away the blood for her to breath, I could only think 'Thank god she isn't dead!'. Her face and scalp were ripped up and I was sure that she had lost her left eye. The emergency crews arrived very quickly and Jacqui came round enough to tell them her name and ask after the children. They put her in a helicopter and flew her to Bern. When we got to the hospital and I caught up with her I had my second moment of triumph when they told me she had no brain damage, just some bleeding which was too small to worry about, then my third moment of triumph when they told me she could see out of both eyes. I confess I did a double take 'Both eyes?' I thought she'd lost one!!!! It was a euphoric feeling amidst the horror of the day. I couldn't stay with her for long, the police wanted a piece of me. Some days are diamonds, some days are stones." - Jon

The Swiss surgeons did a good job to cover the missing part of her forehead. In a five and a half hour long operation they used a rotational skin graft, which means they cut along the top and bottom of the left and right hand parts of her forehead that were still okay and pulled them along, stretching them out, to provide more skin to close the gap. They put a 1.1mm thick metal plate over the repaired bone of the sinus and were able to reset her nose. With all the bones back in the correct place, she should heal okay and retain her natural good looks. She had extensive grazes to her right forearm, these looked terrible at the time, but healed quickly and were mostly okay after just one week, the worst took a little longer and the dressing concealed a small fragment of glass about 4mm square which dropped out after about 10 days.
Jacqui looked very different without her hair, which they had to shave off for the operation.

Unfortunately, the skin graft procedure has not been enough to repair the damage. The worst affected area developed an infection which caused the stitches to pull though and the wound reopened. Jax has had her skull exposed over her left eye for a couple of weeks now. At last it is starting to heal and the skin is growing around the edge of the opening and on the bone. The hole in her left cheek is closing slowly. She has a section of necrotic tissue which will need to be removed and a fresh grafting operation will be required to re-cover the dead area.
Most of her stitches from the eyes down have healed beautifully and it's difficult to see where they were. She had more than 80 stitches and 17 metal clips. She still has some stitches that need to be removed. They are in awkward places that might pull infection through the wound if they were taken out now. She has some internal stitches that will dissolve but that have tails that stick out.

Her neck fracture is quite bad, she will need to continue using the hard neck brace until the start of August.

Hit the arrows to scroll to the other pictures.

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The top box was knocked off, but it did a good job and kept all our stuff together.

 


Copyright Jon Young 2005. webmaster@TheYoungs.uk.net Last updated 13/11/2006.