By Chris Jaffray
A woman who was in a brutal car crash at the age of 11 but didn’t realise she’d been left brain injured for FIVE YEARS has defied all the odds and rebuilt her life.
Rebecca Gilmore was told she’d never get a job, have a child or drive a car by specialists but at the age of 28 she has done all these things.
And not just this she owns two homes and rents one of these out as a landlord.
She says she was a “perfectly normal” girl before the disaster struck when she was just 11 and she was hit by a people carrier in 2002 while crossing the road and left with two bleeds on her brain and three skull fractures.
She was first taken to Fairfield Hospital to have her leg cleaned up before being transported to the Royal Children’s Hospital Manchester where she was put on life support for three days.
Her mobility was so diminished that her parents had to convert the downstairs conservatory into her bedroom.
But the fact she had suffered brain damage was undiagnosed and her school did not give her the one to one support she required and she was suspended 12 times and her mother took her out of school in year eight and she ceased education altogether.
It wasn’t until the age of 16 she had a meeting with a doctor and was told about the bleed on the brain, fractures to her skull and eye socket to she’d be entitled to compensation from the driver and then received a £100,000 up front payment.
And in 2015 she would go on to receive £960,000 because of what happened in the crash.
She explained the impact this had on her, saying:
“I got a one off upfront payment of £100,000 when I was 18 or 19.”
“I went from having no help whatsoever to loads.
“I had a neurotherapist, a psychiatrist, and operational neurologist, a PA solicitor, a case manager, I had quite a lot of people.
“I had one appointment then another appointment, one meeting then another meeting then having tests done on me
“I suffer from anxiety and depression, I suffer from a lot of things.”
Once her beloved son Jacob was born when she was 22 she had to attend a rehabilitation facility in Liverpool where she also went to college studying English, maths and a course in learning how to be a nail technician.
She said of being a single mum: “I do it all single handedly and don’t get any help from anyone.”
After six months of this she decided, against all the odds, that a step onto the property ladder was the one for her.
She had been giving a housing association property in Bury when her son was born and described this as a “good investment.”
At the time she had been put into the protection court where all her money was taken care of elsewhere because she was deemed unable to take care of it herself.
But after buying her home in Bury she then decided one wasn’t enough so decided she would buy another and rent out her existing one.
She was far from done beating the odds and went on to pass her driving test and now drives a Mercedes C350.
She said: “It took me seven times to pass.
“When I went do the driving test I failed the test without getting in the car, I couldn’t read the number plate and later realised I had a fracture to the back of my eye socket.”
And in 2017 she went on to get the job she was told she’d never had.
She said: “I wanted to work with people who have been though what I have been through.
“People that I can help, with dementia or strokes that type of thing.
“I got three jobs and took one of them.”
She had to leave it in because of difficulties with medication but is still now renting her second home out as a landlord.
She said: “Life is pretty good to be honest.
“It is what it is that’s what I say, I have been given a second chance.
Matthew Brown, a partner at Irwin Mitchell, who worked on the case to secure Rebecca the money, explained how it all came about.
He said: “She was seriously injured in a road accident on the 27th June 2002,she was struck by a car driven by the defendant as she was crossing a road in Ramsbottom.
“In March 2015 almost 13 years after the accident she was awarded the sum of £960,000, representing £40% of the full value of £2.4million.
“The driver was held to have been 60% to blame for the accident and his insurers picked up the rab.”
Hospital response to come.