Brave Queen Mary student recalls the moment she was run over by lorry

A BRAVE young student has spoken of the moment she realised she could die under the wheels of a lorry in Cambridge Heath Road.

Mona Hassan, 18, a student at Queen Mary University, has been recovering in the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, since October 28 after being struck by a tipper lorry and falling underneath its wheels.

The teenager recalled the terrifying moment she saw the lorry as she attempted to cross the road, at the junction with Hackney Road, to get to a bus-stop at 8.40am.

She said: “I don’t remember the driver seeing me.

“I moved backed towards the island in the middle of the road because there was too much traffic but the lorry hit me on the shoulder and I fell down.

“I thought I’ve got to move, this is life or death.”

Mona rolled onto her side but inadvertently went under the lorry, bringing her legs under its wheels.

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Her left leg was run over before bystanders called for the driver to stop.

She said: “I was calm at the time, I remember feeling happy to be alive.

“It could have rolled over my arms and legs.”

Fifteen firefighters used cutting and lifting equipment to free Mona before she was taken to the hospital and reunited with her frantic parents that evening.

Having suffered significant skin loss to both her legs and a broken ankle, a team of trauma doctors and plastic surgeons have since guided Mona through a series of skin grafts and dressing changes under anaesthetic.

Professor Simon Myers, one of the plastic surgeons to have operated on Mona said: “The key was to try and replace the skin in a way that meant Mona not having to come back lots of times to hospital in future.”

She was able to take her first steps with a walking aid last week.

Though such injuries can take 18 months to settle down, Mona is hoping to leave hospital very soon.

She said: “I’m most looking forward to having my own bed back.

The police are investigating and no arrests have been made.


- When skin has lost its blood supply as a result of trauma, it can become infected and needs to be removed.

- For Mona, surgeons used a synthetic skin called Integra – an artificial substance with a bottom layer of bovine collagen and sugar molecules.

- This mimics the bottom layer of human skin and sticks to an upper layer made of silicon sheet.

- The top layer is removed two to three weeks later and is replaced with some of the patient’s own skin.

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