A SCOTTISH woman who sustained life-changing injuries in a deadly car crash four years ago hopes to use her experience to inspire others to overcome challenges.

Lauren Feeney (below), 29, from Glasgow, was a passenger in a car which collided with a 32-tonne lorry on New Year’s Eve 2019.

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She was given a 0.5% chance of survival after sustaining life-changing injuries, including 26 broken bones, eye injuries, internal bleeding and brain damage.

Her body was described as being “like jelly” when she was pulled from the wreckage of her car, the only survivor out of four passengers.

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Feeney had moved to London to complete cabin crew training with British Airways and was just one month into her dream job when the crash occurred, killing three off-duty colleagues who were also in the car.

Feeney said she could not remember anything.

“When I hear about what happened, it’s like listening to a story about someone else, or watching a TV show,” she said.

“It was horrible, so maybe it’s better that way.”

Feeney spent two months in hospital in London before being transferred to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) in Glasgow just as Covid-19 struck.

She then continued her rehabilitation at home with her mother Pauline and father Kevin.

But despite now living with a brain injury, sight problems, reduced function in one leg which means she needs a brace, and other permanent injuries, Feeney volunteers two days a week at the hospital.

She credited the staff there with her recovery after her parents were told “not to get their hopes up” and to prepare for a life of caring for her.

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“I spent two years receiving a range of therapies,” she said.

“Mum and dad had been told not to get their hopes up, that my life would be severely limited. They were planning for a life of care.

“But the staff who cared for me were just fantastic. They were such an amazing support for me that I’m not sure where I’d be without them.”

Unable to return to her former job, Feeney spends her time running and swimming, but has ambitions to become a motivational speaker.

She said: “I started volunteering at the QEUH relaxation and recuperation hub just over a year ago and, to be honest, I feel so lucky to be here.

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“Before cabin crew I worked in hospitality, and I just love being around people and helping them, so being here is perfect.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. The aftermath of the accident means as soon as I get stressed or overwhelmed, it gets really tough.

“I can’t walk as well as I used to, and I’ve got constant problems with my sight, so days can be a bit of a challenge.

“But I don’t want sympathy, or to make a big deal of things.

“People like me wouldn’t normally be able to speak, but that has made me even more determined to share my story.

“In fact, it feels like I have a responsibility to make the most of that to help others who have been through similar.”

Dr Teng Cheng Khoo, lead clinician and consultant in rehabilitation medicine at the neuro-rehabilitation unit, paid tribute to Feeney and the work she has put into her recovery.

He said: “One of the main reasons for her phenomenal recovery and reintegration is her ongoing motivation and the hard work that she has put in over the years.

“Staff at the then PDRU (Physically Disabled Rehabilitation Unit) found her a joy to work with despite the challenges she had to face at that time. She worked with staff to set goals that consistently pushed the boundaries of her recovery and what she was able to achieve.

“We also have to remember that this happened at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, which makes her achievements all the more impressive.”

Feeney said she wants to be the best person she can be and help others.

She said: “If you have challenges in your life and aren’t sure you can take on something new, look at me – don’t let anything hold you back.

“In fact, I’d say even more that you should go for it.”