A WOMAN who walked away from a horror car smash while not knowing she had broken her neck is now recovering at home.
Staff nurse Janine Nicholson was on her way to work at James Cook hospital earlier this month when her car hit a patch of ice at 6.30am on the A171 Guisborough Road near Scaling Dam.
It flipped onto its roof, rolled and ended up back on its wheels again. A lorry driver who came across the aftermath dragged Janine, of Helredale Road, Whitby from the wreckage of her Mitsubishi Shogun and sat her in his cab while they waited for Mark, Janine’s husband, and the emergency services to arrive.
Janine (53) was taken to the hospital she works for treatment for what she initially thought was whiplash but a series of x-rays and scans revealed she had actually broken her neck.
For the next three days Janine had to lay flat with her head taped to the pillow to prevent her from moving and then she had to have an operation to have metal plates fitted in her neck to support the broken bones.
Amazingly Janine left hospital a week after the operation and is now on the long road to recovery but knows she has had a very lucky escape.
She told the Gazette: “I remember everything about the accident. The roads were clear, there was no warning at all, the car did not skid. It was all of a sudden that I lost control and I couldn’t do anything about it.”
Her first thought was to grab hold of her phone so she could ring husband Mark in case no-one found her because it was early.
Janine even thought to turn the ignition off because she thought she could hear running diesel but it turned out to be a stream.
In another twist of fortune Janine would normally have made the journey to work in an L reg Nova but decided to take the bigger car because she had seen snow on the moors the previous day and believes it gave her more protection when it flipped.
At first Janine thought all she needed was a couple of painkillers.
She added: “Looking back I was quite calm about the whole thing but I had no idea I had broken my neck. All I had was pain between my shoulder blades and when the ambulance came I just told them to give me some painkillers and I would be fine.
“I could be dead or disabled now - they were the only two other options. The doctors are amazed. The pain in my shoulder was the muscles going into spasm and wrapping around the spine to protect it.
“It is good to get over the operation but the emotional side of it is hard to deal with. I am down one day but not too bad the next. I have got to get back in the car and have a go at driving.
“I have a sick note for three months and I’m taking each day as it comes but I will have plenty of time to catch up with the accounts degree I am doing.”
In the same week that Janine had her accident there were two other smashes on that stretch of road.