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Inspirational couple’s generous donation after they were treated together on RPH’s major trauma unit

Posted on - 8th March, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, Health, Preston News
Jak and Charlotte donating the items to the Major Trauma ward at RPH

A couple who were almost killed when an unlicenced lorry ploughed into their car have made a generous donation to the Major Trauma Unit at Royal Preston Hospital, where they were treated.

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Charlotte McCarthy and Jak Metcalfe, from Haslingden, Lancs, were on their way home from Charlotte’s PGCE graduation ceremony in November 2018 when they were involved in the shocking collision on Grane Road, East Lancs.

Both suffered life changing abdominal injuries and were told they were lucky to survive the crash.

They were treated together on the Major Trauma Unit at Royal Preston Hospital, where Jak was given a 50/50 chance of survival and Charlotte was told she was 1mm from death when damage to a major artery cut off circulation to her bowel.

Charlotte’s parents Suzanne and Tony were also seriously injured in the crash and the whole family spent Christmas 2018 on the ward.

But a year after they were discharged from Royal Preston Hospital, Charlotte, 25,  and Jak, 24, are on the road to recovery and wanted to give something back to the team that treated them.

On Wednesday March 4 they returned to Royal Preston Hospital to deliver dozens of items to make other people recovering from major trauma more comfortable.

They include inflatable hair washing sinks, long handled combs, phone chargers, craft equipment and specialist drinking cups for patients who are unable to sit up.

Read more: Royal Preston Hospital to get £2m for specialist mental health beds

Charlotte, who lost her spleen and had to have 13 hours of surgery, including having six metal rods inserted into her back, says: “It has been humbling to be able to make such an important donation to the Major Trauma ward. We believe the items will be integral to the recovery of seriously injured patients and can promote self recovery.”

Charlotte and Jak in hospital after the collision

Following the collision, the couple – who plan to wed next year – were both fitted with colostomy bags after suffering severe bowel damage due to seatbelt injuries.

As part of their efforts to help others they have also raised £450 for Colostomy UK.

In October 2019, Charlotte had a colostomy reversal – an operation Jak is due to undergo later this month.

Charlotte, a primary school teacher, says: “As previously fit and well young people with the world at our feet, we have had to learn to adjust (with the help of a lot of psychological therapy) to life with our injuries. 

“Changes such as living without a spleen and parts of our small intestine and colon, metal rods in the spine and two colostomy bags has seriously impacted our physical and mental health. 

“We are working hard to get fit and well again and still rely on many hospital consultations and physiotherapies, with hopes of going back to work as soon as we can.”

Charlotte and Jak got engaged after they came home from hospital

Karen Haworth, the Major Trauma Ward manager at Royal Preston Hospital said: ‘Thank you to Charlotte McCarthy and Jak Metcalfe for their kind donations to the Major Trauma Ward at Royal Preston Hospital. The gifts which include fans, distraction therapy, special drinking bottles and cutlery to benefit patients on bed rest and electrical equipment will all benefit our severely injured patients and promote independence throughout their recovery. 

“Never have we had a whole family so badly affected by trauma and in need of assistance from multiple departments, as well as our own. 

“They have suffered life changing injuries and their problems are still ongoing. We are extremely proud of their recovery and see them as one of our big success stories. 

“Charlotte and Jak are a very brave young couple with a story that represents such strength.

“Their kindness towards Royal Preston hospital and in particular our ward, makes them fantastic role models for young people and their strength is inspiring for younger patients with Colostomy bags.”

Read more: Ingol parents saying thank you to Royal Preston Hospital’s children’s ward with chocolate donations

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