In April 2013 Catrin Pugh was 19 years old when, returning from a French ski resort, the coach she was travelling in crashed and burst into flames with Catrin trapped inside. She was rescued but had suffered 96% burns and was given just a 1:1000 chance of survival.
Catrin was put into a medically induced coma after suffering severe burns to her body, only the soles of her feet and parts of her scalp remained untouched. Her family were told the devastating news that she was unlikely to survive - as well as the burns she suffered major lung and chest injuries, fractured ribs and from the effects of breathing in smoke. She was transferred from a hospital in Lyon to the specialist Mersey Burns unit at Whiston Hospital to continue her fight for life.
Catrin remained critically ill and on life support for 90 days - she had to battle to stay alive with bacteria in her blood from the burns threatened to jeopardise her recovery. Her condition was monitored minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day. The extent of the burns meant that should she survive, the chance of being paralysed was great.
Catrin has had 200 operations and procedures. Her first operation lasted over 5 hours and involved removing as much of the burned tissue as possible and skin grafting over 40% of her body. She also had some of her skin sent to the lab to be artificially grown for later use. She has received skin grafts from both her mum and her brother who had skin taken from their thighs and grafted on to Catrin's body.
– Catrin Pugh
"I remember the bus crashing and everything being on fire. I remember lying on the roadside in pain and everyone helping me...and then I don't remember much after that."
"I couldn't see a future to begin with, I used to cry every night. I never thought I'd be able to walk or leave hospital."