"I MADE a decision early on in hospital that I needed to live my life."

A doctor who was left wheelchair bound after a car crash is urging the community to support her in funding one more year of physical rehabilitation.

In 2017 Georgina Budd, originally from Downton, was driving to her Accident and Emergency (A&E) job in west Wales when a tyre on her car blew out, causing her to hit a tree at 50mph.

Georgie had swerved off the road in a sucessful attempt to avoid other drivers.

The crash however has caused the now 30-year-old to be paralysed from the waist down, and she has since been attending physical therapy sessions to aid her recovery.

"I didn’t want to hurt anyone so I took my car off the road and hit a tree at 50mph, and my vertebrae just shattered. I knew what had happened because of my training and I couldn’t move or feel my legs," Georgie told the Journal.

Salisbury Journal:

"The air ambulance arrived and I was in hospital for eight weeks, I was in rehab for seven months, learning how to live from a chair.

"[The hospital] didn’t think I would work again but you get out what you get in."

Georgie was able to return to work around 15 months after the incident, but like so many, the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside her health and other reasons, halted her employment last summer and she was left without income.

With her therapy sessions drawing to a close at the end of 2020, Georgie fears her physical recovery and progress will be affected without the funding for future sessions.

The doctor is now working in Glangwili Hospital's A&E department, but the coronavirus outbreak has caused her usual means of fundraising to be cancelled, for example taking part in the Cuckoo Fair.

As a result an online fundraiser has been launched with a £5,000 goal. So far £900 has been donated.

Describing her rehab and recovery as "learning to live again", Georgie said: "This whole experience has been hard, it turns your life upside down, but I didn’t want to give up. I have done so much to get where I have got to.

Salisbury Journal:

"I do really worry that without regular therapy I will go backwards. It keeps my mental health better and is such a key factor in helping me work.

"I just want to stay as healthy as possible so I can give back and help other people."

Georgie is still living in Wales, where she lived with her former fiancé, but she hopes to return to Downton this year when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and a wheelchair-friendly home is available.

"You don’t realise how excluded you can be from things, I think lockdown has shown people what it is like to be isolated and be away from family and friends, and not be able to go out. Disabled people face this all the time," she said.

Feeling "completely cut off from [her] support network", she added: "I’m hoping we learn some lessons from this and people realise how hard it can be on your own."

Georgie added: "To keep fighting and not give up is very important to me - it is not what happens but how you deal with it. The most important thing is to just keep going.

"Obviously I do get sad about this sometimes but I was lucky enough to survive.

"I made a decision early on in hospital that I needed to live my life. To have spent the next year miserable would have been a waste of a year, I got to live and so I need to get on with it."

For more information and to donate visit Georgie's Go Fund Me page.