Katie – this one’s for you…

8 years ago, our best friend Rob was coming round for ‘sweet hangs’ (I know, we are so cool) and he casually dropped into the conversation “can Katie come?”. Sorry, what? Whoever this Katie is yes she can come, as I MUST MEET HER IMMEDIATELY. And that, as they say, is history. As that day, she became my best friend too. It has been the 4 of us since, Rob & Katie, Callum & Sian, Rob & Callum (honestly their bromance is on a level of Chris & Kem, if not more – little Love Island reference for you there!). She is Lyla’s godmother, she was my maid of honour, I was hers, we have become mothers, bought houses, got dream jobs and drank far too much prosecco.

Our families have integrated, I class her sisters as some of my closest friends, and both Rob and Katie’s mums are like a mum to me too. Our relationship is one of those that you see on a meme – we could go a week or more without speaking but that wouldn’t make any difference. Lives are busy and we both ‘get’ that. I regret this now. I regret maybe not being there for her as much as I should. And this is definitely not going to be an excuse in the future. I’ll tell you why…

Just over 2 weeks ago I missed a phone call from Rob, this isn’t anything unusual so I thought nothing of it and planned to call him back when I’d finished hoovering. But then I missed a call from Katie’s sister, Lindsey. When I saw my phone it was one of those horrible moments, when you just know, when your heart sinks and you have to pluck up the courage to return that phone call. Katie had been involved in a car accident, a freak accident that truly was a case of ‘wrong place, wrong time’. Her injuries have been life-changing for her.

I joined Rob, Lindsey and Lucy at the hospital as soon as I could, and that day we sat within those 4 walls of an A&E family room for hours and hours waiting to hear news of Katie, who was in theatre having surgery on her face and skull. It was agonising. We talked, we joked, we drank coffee, we went over and over what could have happened (her 4 year old son was in the car and escaped uninjured), and what would happen from now on. And then we saw her post-theatre and just couldn’t believe it. We had come so close to losing our best friend, sister, mum, daughter, wife. How could this happen to her? Why her?

This is not about me in the slightest, but I have struggled to come to terms with the events of that day. I had to stop at the side of the motorway when driving home from the hospital that night as I just felt so ill at the thought of it. I have to drive on the road that it happened when I go and visit her and I feel myself getting angry every time, I never knew it was possible to hate a stretch of road so much. I even get nervous driving behind lorries (it was a piece of metal from a lorry that caused Katie’s injuries). I know that over time this will fade but if I am traumatised by it, I can’t even imagine how Katie is feeling. Well, I know, because we talk about it obviously!

But this is Katie. I knew she was strong, I knew she was determined and I knew she was very loved. I didn’t know the half of it. There isn’t one word that can describe how she has coped with this. Incredibly. Amazingly. With such strength that I didn’t know existed. To say we are proud of her really is the understatement of the century. I hope that the response from everybody shows her how loved she is and helps her to come through this.

Who knows what the near and far future holds, hopefully a complete recovery for my girl. What I do know is that we will all be there to support her and help her in anyway we can. And she will get annoyed at me texting and calling so much, but I don’t care.

Please, tell your loved ones you love them, please. Because you just never know what might happen.

Katie – I love you. You are AMAZING x

(If you aren’t squeamish then scroll down for some pictures showing the accident)

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