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‘I went to the gym and lost my leg’ – brave Sarah speaks out about her life-changing injury

Sarah had no idea her life was in immediate danger...

Here, Sarah McClure, 32, Bathurst, NSW, shares the story in her own words…

Tossing the ball across the yard, my pup Penny Lane ran after it.

‘Last one before I work out,’ I said, scratching her behind the ears.

Then I pulled on my tights and runners, jumped in my car and headed towards my boxing class.

Parking at the top of a steep driveway, I walked down five metres towards the building.

At the bottom, I glanced down at my feet and noticed my lace had come undone.

So I bent down, leaning against the garage and began to loop my lace.

That’s when I heard a commotion.

‘Run!’ a deafening screech pierced my ears.

Quickly, I looked up and my eyes widened.

An unmanned 4WD was hurtling down the driveway – straight towards me.

Watching the car gain speed, I knew there was nothing I could do.

I have to try, I thought, attempting to throw myself out of the way of the out-of-control vehicle.

THUMP!

My body hit the bonnet, tossing me to the ground like a ragdoll.

My right leg was trapped between the car and the brick garage.

Surrounded by debris, the smell of smoke burnt my nose.

‘Sarah!’ my gym buddies called, running towards me. ‘Are you alright?’

As the dust settled and everything finally stopped moving, I took a deep breath.

Suddenly, scorching pain erupted, shooting electric volts up my trapped limb.

‘Help me!’ I screamed.

Sarah McClure before the accident
I was so active before (Credit: Supplied)

‘It’s okay, help is on the way,’ my friends soothed.

Looking down, I saw blood seeping out of my tights and pooling underneath me.

Shaking uncontrollably, I watched my blood flow like a river across the driveway.

I’m going to lose my leg, I fretted.

Bursting into tears, I saw the lights from the emergency services’ vehicles light up the street as they raced to my side.

It’d only been five minutes, but it felt like forever.

Police, paramedics and the SES assessed the situation, talking among themselves.

‘We can’t move the car, or the building could collapse on her,’ said one.

‘We need to move her quickly, she’s bleeding a lot,’ a medic reasoned.

I’m either going to bleed to death or be crushed to death by a house! my mind raced.

‘It’s okay you’ve got this,’ my friend comforted me.

‘I really don’t think I do,’ I replied.

Sarah McClure in hospital
With my friends and family (Credit: Supplied)

Opening me like a book, a tyre had ripped my leg from my ankle to my groin, severing my femoral artery.

The paramedics hooked me up to an IV, provided pain medication and also started a blood transfusion.

Meanwhile, the police and SES worked to stabilise the building to prevent it from crushing me.

They placed support rods against the building and put a temporary roof over me.

Dozing in and out of consciousness, after two hours, I finally felt the pressure lift off my leg as they rolled the car backwards.

Hearing the whoosh of helicopter blades, I knew I was being airlifted to hospital.

‘See you later alligators,’ I smiled.

Those who’d saved my life chuckled with relief as they watched me fly away.

At hospital, I was greeted by 20 doctors and surgeons who whisked me off into surgery.

The next time I opened my eyes I saw my mum Heather, dad Stephen, brother Daniel and bestie Lauren.

‘Sarah!’ my mum smiled.

But it was a broken smile… she had been crying.

They explained that the car had dragged me along the coarse driveway, leaving my left leg damaged.

And by the time I got to the hospital my right leg was almost detached.

‘It was you or your leg,’ Mum explained gently.

Sarah McClure learning to walk again
I’m learning to walk again (Credit: Supplied)

Amputated just above the knee, I stared at where my right leg should have been.

All that was left was a white bandage wrapped around my thigh.

Even though I’d thought my leg couldn’t be saved, deep down I never imagined I’d be in this position.

‘How do I do this?’ I welled up to my family

‘Don’t worry. Just focus on getting better,’ they said.

‘You will be back playing with Penny Lane in no time,’ Lauren smiled.

That night, my mind ran through the accident.

If I hadn’t heard that scream, I wouldn’t even be here, I thought.

Feeling lucky to be alive, I sent messages of thanks to everyone who helped me.

I am so grateful to still be breathing, I wrote to them.

Now, 10 weeks in hospital and nine skin graft surgeries later, I’m hoping to soon start walking on my prosthetic leg.

Police are still investigating why the unmanned car rolled down the hill.

Meanwhile, my friends and family visit me all the time.

Life throws some curve balls but I certainly won’t let this one stop me living my life.

The first thing I plan on doing with my new leg is taking Penny Lane for a walk. ●

You can support Sarah on her GoFundMe 

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