Blind baker in coma for five weeks after serious car accident

THE BLIND Baker and the winner of an international blind award has just woken up from a five-week induced coma after a serious car accident.

Saturday, 3rd March 2018, 5:24 am
Penny Melville-Brown in a rehab centre in France Picture: Disability Dynamics

Last year Penny Melville-Brown won the Holman Prize from The Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco which funds the ambitions of inspirational blind people globally.

She took off on an international adventure around countries including Malawi, Australia and China meeting chefs and teaching other blind people and community leaders the art of blind baking.

During a visit to France just before Christmas to explore cooking opportunities, the Fareham resident was involved in a serious car accident.

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Penny said: ‘It was nearly an untimely end for me and Baking Blind.

‘I had to be cut out of the car before being rushed to A&E.’

Penny fractured a vertebrae in her neck as well as breaking her ribs and sternum.

She spent two months in intensive care and was put into an induced coma for five weeks.

Penny said: ‘The breathing tubes stopped me talking so communicating with the French medical team was a challenge for all of us and even more complicated by my total blindness.

‘But we all got on outstandingly.’

The Royal Navy veteran is now in a specialist rehabilitation unit in France having physiotherapy to build strength in her neck.

Penny said: ‘I’m stuck in bed but cycle on a sort of horizontal pedalo and stretch my muscles as hard as possible.

‘The experience has meant learning about lots of new people but they are great in putting up with my shattered French and using their variety of English skills.’

Penny is currently waiting to find out the verdict of her broken neck vertebrae.

She said: ‘I’m waiting for the next scan to discover if the neck has fused and I can start to learn how to sit, stand and walk again.

Penny, who runs Disability Dynamics, an organisation which focuses on getting disabled people back to work, can’t wait to get back to the UK and finish editing her Baking Blind videos from her travels.

She added: ‘Meanwhile, the videos from last year’s Baking Blind are all being edited and we will start releasing them when I’m back in the UK.

‘So, please bear with me and be patient, there is lots of amazing footage to come.’