Horror crash woman who thought injuries made her infertile gives birth to “miracle” baby
A WOMAN who believed she would not be able to conceive after being left in a wheelchair following a horror smash on Grane Road, has given birth to a “miracle” baby girl. Charlotte McCarthy, from Accrington, was on her way home to Haslingden from her graduation ceremony in Carlisle when her mum’s Vauxhall Astra collided with a 7.5 tonne Daf Tipper Truck on November 29, 2018. Charlotte, now 24, her fiance Jak and her parents Susan and Tony suffered life-changing injuries in the collision.
Charlotte was taken to the Major Trauma Unit at Royal Preston Hospital where she spent two weeks in a coma. During a 13-hour operation, surgeons removed her spleen and fitted six rods to support her spine and a stoma. Jak was given a 50 per cent chance of survival by medical staff and an arterial injury suffered by Charlotte was one millimetre from killing her at the scene, doctors said.
Jak managed to escape the vehicle but collapsed as he tried to rescue his partner. The couple became engaged two months after their horrifying ordeal, and plan to be wed in 2022. Serious injuries to her abdomen meant that Charlotte feared she would not be able to ever have children, but three years after the crash, she gave birth to Cara Anne Metcalfe on December 1.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said: “We always worried that we might not be able to have babies because of our injuries and she is a miracle. And it’s a miracle that she’s so healthy.” “When I first got pregnant, it was a bit of shock.
We were speaking to the colorectal nurse because we thought I had a bowel blockage. They said it’s not a blockage but there is something there.”
22 NHS workers helped to deliver Charlotte and Jak’s baby safely and smoothly. Charlotte’s pregnancy was deemed ‘high risk’ as a result of her previous injuries, which meant regular scans were required and a pre-planned caesarian would be necessary at 37 weeks.
Due to the metal plate in Charlotte’s spine, an epidural was not an option and instead baby Cara was delivered with Charlotte under general anaesthetic. Jak was present in the operating theatre throughout the birth and was relieved by how smoothly it all went. He told the Daily Mail: “It all went quite smoothly really, or as they planned it to at least.
There were 22 people in the surgery.” After initially suffering with jaundice and weight loss, baby Cara is now at home with her parents and for Christmas and doing well. Charlotte added: “It’s tiring but it’s just so lovely because when we look at where we were three years ago, it’s totally different now because she’s here.”
The driver of the truck, John Gavin, then 24, was fined GBP1,600 after he pleaded guilty to careless driving. The court heard Gavin, of Moorfield Drive, Ribbleton, was not licensed to drive the vehicle and already had 12 points on his car licence. Judge Andrew Woolman, sentencing, said: “This is indeed a tragic case.
You (Gavin) should not have been driving that lorry on a road at all.” Gavin was arrested at the scene and admitted he should not have been driving the truck without a licence. He said he was returning a wrong delivery to his company’s suppliers to ensure the workers had the right materials to set to work the following day.
He had previously driven the truck around the compound, but had only driven it on the road for the first time that day. He was initially charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving but pleaded guilty to a lesser count of careless driving and driving other than in accordance with a licence. Before the sentence took place, he met with Charlotte and Jak to express his remorse and apologise for what had happened.
Charlotte told the Lancashire Telegraph at the time: “This wasn’t about forgiveness or for us to get angry. “We talked about our injuries, he had tears in his eyes. There were five of us in that crash 12 months ago, him included.
“I shook his hand because after everything and facing court; I have run out of strength and need some peace.”
Judge Woolman said: “You are fortunate that Charlotte has been so kind to you in agreeing to that meeting.
“That is the best thing, if at all possible, to bring closure to them and maybe to you.”