Survivor Stories

Here are some real life stories from trauma survivors and carers about their experience of injury and recovery journeys. You can also watch more survivor videos on the AfterTrauma YouTube channel.


Shan was crossing a small village road, when a car hit her and left her with a 6% chance of survival. Seven extraordinary months later, Shan celebrated her recovery with a ’Stayin’ Alive’ party with family, friends and the medics who saved her.

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At 34, Evi had a serious road accident. She talks about it's impact, her multiple operations and set backs.  She bravely shares her struggle with depression, and how she found the incredible strength to pull through.

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In 2015, David suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when a car collided with his bicycle. . He was taken to hospital where his brain was operated on for blood clotting, he was in a coma for 28 days and critical care for a total of 46 days. Upon discharge from hospital, David had to relearn many of his life skills over the following months and years. He is now back at work as an IT security consultant.

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In 2014, 61 year old Cissy was crossing the road in New Orleans when she was hit by a truck from behind and suffered multiple injuries including TBI.  She has written a detailed account of her intensive rehabilitation and return to work as a paralegal, all the more remarkable as so many of her 'memories' are those shared by witnesses to her accident and recovery.

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On a night out with friends in London, Sabrina was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire of gang violence. She was shot in the back, her friend was killed, but she has come out the other side of trauma with dignity and power.

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In April 2014, Grace experienced multiple devastating injuries in a road traffic collission. In April 2016, she completed the London Marathon, '3 years ahead of schedule', motivated to give hope to other trauma survivors.

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Campbell and Lucy

Three weeks after they were engaged, Lucy's finance Campbell fell 25 feet onto his head and sustained a traumatic brain injury.   Theirs is a powerful recovery story of true love and true grit.

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Angela and Roger

In January 2015, Angela and Roger were involved in a motorway pile-up and Angela suffered multiple injuries, a heart attack at scene and a stroke. With the loving help of her husband, she has now made a remarkable recovery.

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When Daryl was 23, depression, and internal conflicts about his sexuality and religious beliefs drove him to throw himself in front of a London tube. He survived as a double amputee, and is now an inspirational blogger, change-maker and depression ambassador in his native South Africa.

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An accident on his motorbike left Ben paralysed from the waist down. Three years later, he is mastering wheelchair tennis and launched a fabulous social media app for disabled sports called Perfect Imperfections.

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Chris's road cycling collision resulted "weeks of his life vanishing".  He woke up in ICU to the sounds of an '80s hip-hop classic, and his long, challenging recovery began.

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Lisa's arm was caught in machinery at her job in a carpet factory. She pulled through with scars and nerve damage, but very grateful to still have her hand and arm.

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Cristiana and her fiancee came to England from Romania for a better life, but within a month she was hit by a truck. After 2 months in a coma, she woke to find her lower left leg was gone. Her life had changed forever.

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Phil was struck by a 25 tonne truck, sustained multiple injuries, lost a leg, and endured Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After a decade of rehabilitation and self-reinvention, Phil found himself at Westminster receiving an Award for Inspiration.

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The "tables were turned" on Alison, a physiotherapist, when a cycling accident resulted in a spinal cord injury. She knew too well what to expect in hospital and what it takes to recover.

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At 17, Megan was the victim of a serious road traffic collision near Dolgellau, North Wales. Meg almost died and spent 44 days in ICU and 8 months in hospital. Now her dream is to work for the NHS, "something so worthwhile to do with my life after being given a second chance".

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When doctors suffer traumatic injury, how do they cope?  They sometimes return to work too early.  Patricia tells the story of how her life changed forever after her cycling accident and how doctors "need to look out for each other".

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At only 11 years old, Joshua was involved in a major quad bike accident and his parents told he wouldn't walk or talk again. Now he has a promising career as a stand up comedian. Watch his inspiring recovery story. 

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When Paul was hit by a taxi at 30 MPH, the first thing he did was imagine himself "happy and in full health". He also sang the Gayatri Mantra and Hare Krishna in case he was "about to leave my body". He has now resumed his career as a therapist with deepened insight into trauma.

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When Michael fell two storeys (5 metres) from his loft, his friend was in too much shock to call an ambulance. So Michael somehow dialed 999 while lying on the floor and paramedics - and pain relief - soon arrived. 8 months later he has made an excellent recovery.

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In her 70s, Mariet survived a car crash that killed two of her friends.  She made a remarkable recovery thanks to extraordinary courage, playing with her granddaughter, and her determination to play golf again.

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Stress and mental illness drove Stephen to throw himself in front of a tube train. Despite multiple injuries, he drew on a renewed will to live, battled his demons and has made a remarkable recovery. 

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After a sledding accident left Shelly with trauma experiences she never expected, she is coming to terms with life as a trauma survivor.

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