Crash survivor starting to walk in time for baby’s first Christmas

Wiltshire Times: Recovering Gemma Holmes, enjoying Christmas at home with baby Rueben Recovering Gemma Holmes, enjoying Christmas at home with baby Rueben

Crash survivor Gemma Holmes is making the most of her first Christmas with her miracle baby Rueben, a year after leaving hospital following an accident that confined her in a wheelchair.

The former care home worker suffered severe head and neck injuries when her motor scooter collided with a parked car on the A350 at Chalford, near Westbury, in September 2012.

It was only while she was being treated for her injuries in hospital that she found out she was pregnant. She gave birth at the Royal United Hospital in Bath in May.

Now she is confounding doctors’ expectations by starting to get back on her feet and started festive celebrations on Christmas Eve, with friends and relatives coming for lunch at her home.

Miss Holmes, 26, of Hilperton, said: “I’ve been so excited about this Christmas. Rueben absolutely loves it and it’s great to see the excitement on his face.

“It was a year on December 19 since I came out of hospital and I was thinking about how far I’ve come.

“Just before Christmas last year, I was wondering whe-ther I was even going to get out of hospital at all. Now, I’m celebrating with my baby boy and my family.”

Miss Holmes is now able to stand for short periods, after extensive hydrotherapy sessions and weekly gym visits.

She has delayed a major operation on her back, which would require surgeons to insert metal rods, for a year as a result of the progress she has already made.

She said: “Everyone is saying they can see so much progress. Having Rueben makes me more determined to get better and I want to get my independence back for him.

“I am able to walk for about 40 metres now and stand for short periods, which allows me to do more with Rueben.

“My doctor said he never thought he would be having a conversation with me, let alone talking about me walking again.

“We wanted to have Christmas at my house and my mum has been great, helping me put lots of decorations up.”

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