Horror crash couple return home

A BRAVE couple almost killed in an horrific new year road crash have astounded relatives and medics by leaving hospital months sooner than expected.Jillian and Charles Macready are now back at their house in Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds and say they are delighted to be home only 10 weeks after the accident at Great Barton left them both fighting for their lives.

A BRAVE couple almost killed in an horrific new year road crash have astounded relatives and medics by leaving hospital months sooner than expected.

Jillian and Charles Macready are now back at their house in Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds and say they are delighted to be home only 10 weeks after the accident at Great Barton left them both fighting for their lives.

Mrs Macready, 45, whose injuries were so severe she had to have her leg amputated below the knee, is already looking forward to her next milestone - having her prosthetic limb fitted and to get walking again.

Family and friends had a nightmare two-week wait before they knew the couple were off the danger lists but never did they believe they would be back home so soon.


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Mrs Macready's mother Celia Simms, who along with her father Peter is now helping the Macreadys settle in, said she was thrilled at their swift progress.

She said: "It's just wonderful to have them home. I was sure it was going to be much longer - we were thinking it would probably be four or five months before they would be allowed home but they were determined to get back and I know they will now fight their way better."

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Mrs Macready said she was relieved to be home at the same time as her husband and in time to celebrate their third wedding anniversary with a special meal out at a local restaurant on Friday.

She believes doctors at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury, where the couple were first treated, and Cambridge's Addenbrooke's - their home for the past two months - saved their lives and paid tribute to the skills of all the health workers involved in their care.

But Mrs Macready, who with her husband runs a vineyard at Ickworth Park, says it is pioneering surgery which saved her knee joint that she has most to be grateful for.

The technique, which involved reattaching her heel bone beneath her knee to allow her to be fitted with a prosthesis only below the knee, will give her crucial extra movement allowing her to continue working the vineyard she adores while at the same time maintaining her passion for gardening.

She said: "I credit the doctors with saving our lives and saving my knee. I underwent pioneering surgery which means I still have the knee so I'm rather proud of my surgeon because what he did is going to give me a far fuller life than I could have expected."

Mrs Macready, who underwent a series of life-saving operations after the head-on crash on January 4 - including eight hours of surgery in one go requiring 20 pints of blood, says she is to have a "vineyard" leg: "I'm going to have a special leg designed for working outside."

She is now beginning a gruelling exercise regime before she can have her prosthetic leg fitted and is determined to get back to work within six months. Mrs Macready, also an accomplished cook, is even hoping she will be walking for the first of the vineyard's summer open days in June but knows her target is ambitious.

However, she stresses: "I will be there, whether it's in a wheelchair, on crutches or with my new leg. From speaking to people in the amputee's gym in Addenbrooke's I hope I can get walking in six months and back to as near normal as possible in two years."

Her husband, 48, who was left unconscious for a week after the crash which left him with head injuries, a badly broken leg, fractured sternum and broken ribs, said it was "fantastic" to be back home.

But the father-of-two, who will need crutches for several weeks at least, says being home is far harder work than he imagined: "In the hospital there are big wide corridors and spaces to move in - it's a bit more cramped here.

"And instead of having our meals brought to us we're having to make them. It takes a long time but it's brilliant to be back. It's a total relief to get back to some sort of normality.

"I think readjusting to life here will be quite difficult but we're managing very well and we're much happier."

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