Video report by ITV News Meridian's Kit Bradshaw
A woman from Kent, who was almost paralysed in a head-on car crash, has spoken about learning to walk again, at the same time as her one-year-old son.
Entrepreneur Rowena Owen, from Canterbury, says her toddler - Harvey - has helped her rehabilitation, as she’s been able to study some of his techniques for moving around.
The 40-year-old was badly hurt in the accident on the A2070 in August 2020 and suffered multiple broken bones.
“I was travelling back from a friend’s house, having a nice day – it was sunny. A few minutes on my journey I was hit by another driver, in a head-on collision,” Ms Owen said.
She was flown by air ambulance to King's College Hospital in London, and after six weeks of treatment, was able to return home to her partner and son.
What followed was months of recovery, including learning how to walk again – a process made easier by the fact Harvey was taking his first steps at around the same time.
Ms Owen told ITV News Meridian: "He’s helped my rehab. I think I’ve managed so much quicker because I’ve got one eye on him all the time and that would make me get up and move. So, I think it propelled everything because the urge was really there not to just sit on my bum."
Rowena Owen is now using her holiday lettings business to raise awareness – and funds – for the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance, which flew her to hospital after her accident.
Helene Poursain, director of fundraising for the air ambulance’s charity, said: “During 2020 we attended 2,568 different missions. It costs us annually £15 million to keep the service running and 88% of that is raised and donated by the people across our region, who’ve been incredibly generous over the past year.”
Rowena Owen believes she would have lost her left leg, had it not been for the air ambulance that day. “I owe everything to them,” she said.