Bishop Auckland woman who lost leg after crash 'inspiration' behind amputee support

Dr Alison Broadbent said coming to terms with losing her leg had been 'difficult'. Credit: Alison Broadbent

A former astrophysicist who had a leg amputated after a crash is the inspiration behind new specialist support for those who have lost limbs.

Dr Alison Broadbent had her right leg amputated above the knee after she was knocked down by a van in Acadia Road, in Bishop Auckland.

The 58-year-old underwent several other operations, including skin grafts, and spent two months in hospital.

During her recovery, Dr Broadbent said she found there was a lack of peer support for amputees in the region and has now set up NE Amputee.

The dedicated group, backed by health professionals, offers specialist support and advice to amputees and their families.

“Coming to terms with the collision and what it meant for my life going forward was difficult and there were many emotional times," said Dr Broadbent.

“Once I got to the position in my recovery that I could help others I always wanted to, and that’s where the idea of NE Amputee came from.

"The one thing I did miss was being able to talk to others going through the same uncertainty and challenges I was and being able to support one another. 

“I’d hope others who find themselves in a similar situation to what I did don’t feel they have to go through it by themselves as there’s support out there which makes such a difference."

Dr Alison Broadbent at the launch of the NE Amputee support group. Credit: Irwin Mitchell

The group was set up with the support of injury lawyers Irwin Mitchell, who represented Dr Broadbent after the collision.

Laura Mcilduff, a lawyer at the firm, said: “Through our work we often see the impact losing a limb can have on clients but also how with access to specialist support and rehabilitation they can regain more of their independence.

“By bringing together professionals across a range of disciplines we can offer specialist support specifically designed to meet the needs of members."

Irwin Mitchell also helped secure Dr Broadbent a settlement to fund the specialist lifetime therapy and support she requires because of her injuries.

Since the crash in November 2018, she has visited the Ritz for afternoon tea, surfed in the North Sea, and traveled to Mauritius. 

“Alison continues to be a real inspiration and her selflessness to now help others facing similar issues as to what she did is amazing," continued Ms Mcilduff.

"We’re proud to support the communities in which we operate and helping launch NE Amputee alongside Alison felt a natural extension that that."

The group held its first meeting last month in Gateshead.

The next meeting of NE Amputee is from 1pm to 3pm on Friday 7 June, 2024 at the Metrocentre Community Hub, Upper Green Mall.

More information about the group can be found here.

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