A PRESTWICK mum has completed an incredible turnaround after a horror incident which left her with a fractured spine to finish a marathon less than a year later.

Laura Wallace, a keen runner, and sometime cyclist, was knocked off her bike by a van travelling at 60mph in November 2020.

The collision left Laura, 41, with a fractured spine, seven broken ribs and large liver and kidney lacerations, which required surgery.

The mum of one spent a month recovering in Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where she was under the care of the Major Trauma Centre Team.

Ayr Advertiser: Laura begins her recoveryLaura begins her recovery

As her recovery continued, walks around the block led to light jogging, then Laura planned running a 5k with her seven-year-old son, Cameron on Mother’s Day. Completing the Loch Ness Marathon in October was then targeted, with Laura raising £2,000 for Whitley’s Retreat.

Her turnaround from barely being able to walk to completing a marathon astounded hospital staff.

Major Trauma Network manager Heather McVey said: “Laura’s story will inspire others and she should be immensely proud of herself.

“The hard work of both Laura and the Major Trauma Centre team is evidenced in her being able to achieve such incredible goal of running a marathon and we wish her well for the future.”

Ayr Advertiser: Laura running the Inverness marathon in October 2021Laura running the Inverness marathon in October 2021

Laura thanked the staff for their “amazing” care.

She said: “I think I’m lucky to still be here to be honest, so it is remarkable that I am back running again after everything that happened.

“I’m not back to where I was before, and with lasting lung damage I know I probably won’t, but I’m just so glad to be back on my feet, and I’m so thankful to the amazing doctors, nurses and staff at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.”

She continued: “I’ve always been active and set myself goals, I ran my first marathon before I was 30 and have always had a passion for it.

“After the accident, I set myself goals as I tried to get back to running, it started small with walking before jogging very short distances.

“Then me and Cameron completed a 5k on Mother’s Day, which was emotional on many levels. Drew and Cameron got a medal and everything made for me, it was a huge step.

“Then I turned my attention to running another marathon, Loch Ness was in October so it seemed like a good target. Friends of mine had completed it, and I had heard great things about the scenery too.

“It wasn’t about a time, it was about completing it.

“I was so pleased to do that, and while recovery continues for me as I try to deal with the ongoing challenges of my injuries, I just want to thank everyone who looked after me so well for helping to make this possible.”

Ayr Advertiser: Laura and son CameronLaura and son Cameron

Earlier this year, NHS Scotland officially rolled out its Major Trauma Network, which sees major trauma patients taken directly to where they can receive specialist care rather than to their closest hospital.

Despite Laura’s collision happening ahead of the official launch the Major Trauma Centre team at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital was already receiving patients from across Scotland and she was cared for by critical care nurses, physios, pain team, orthopaedic teams, neurological team, general surgery team, interventional radiology unit and the major trauma coordinator.

Heather McVey said: “The West of Scotland Major Trauma Network is a collaboration of six health boards and at the heart of this is the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital’s Major Trauma Centre.

“The Scottish Government have invested £18million into this approach, which has shaped how major trauma injuries are managed. This supports rehabilitation and ensures patients are given specialist care from day one of their journey.

“Saving lives, giving life back is the aim of the network and Laura’s story is a true testament to the importance of the Major Trauma Centre at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the wider network.”