AGAINST the odds, doctors and nurses saved Lauren Prior’s life after she was left in a coma following a horrific car crash.
Now the 23-year-old is giving something back to the hospital unit that will always hold a special place in her heart.
Lauren, from Cowplain, handed over a cheque for £4,500 to the Wessex Neurological Centre at Southampton General Hospital after a huge fundraising effort.
Lauren said it was an emotional experience as she took a tour of the ward where she lay in a coma for two months.
It is now more than five years since the crash on a roundabout in Emsworth.
As reported, Lauren was flung out of the car she was a passenger in and left with life-threatening head injuries.
Doctors refused to give up on her and the ground-breaking treatment they provided made the difference between life and death.
To reduce the potentially-fatal swelling of her brain, medics removed half of the top part of Lauren’s skull and placed the bone in her abdomen until it could be re-attached.
Today, Lauren is a healthy young woman and has recently become a Swedish massage therapist.
After handing over the cheque, Lauren said: ‘I was really happy.
‘When you think about what they did, particularly Dr Andy Eynon, they actually saved my life.
‘It’s eye-opening when you go back.
‘When I went into the intensive care unit, it was overwhelming.
‘Hearing the noise of the machines, it takes you right back to being there. It was quite emotional.’
Lauren was able to raise the cash with a teddy bear auction at The George Inn in Widley and a Christmas raffle at The Red Lion pub in Chalton.
Dr Eynon, consultant in neurosciences intensive care, said: ‘Lauren’s is a truly inspirational story.
‘We keep previous press releases about her on our noticeboard to help to provide hope for other families in similar situations. Given the severity of her injuries she has made a remarkable recovery – sheer bloody-minded effort with massive support from her family.
‘We always explain that life will be different for everyone – patient, friends and family – after such an event but Lauren is proof that you can have a good life, just different to how it might have been.
‘It is humbling they wish to help us with their fundraising efforts. They meet us under the worst of circumstances and it is lovely when they return. The money raised helps us to buy additional equipment and to improve our support for families.’