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Two years on and hit-and-run Amy is lucky to be alive

PUBLISHED: 19:58 15 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:53 05 October 2010

Amy... in hospital on the front-page of the Advertiser in 2006 and (inset) as she is today

Amy... in hospital on the front-page of the Advertiser in 2006 and (inset) as she is today

IT IS just over two years ago that a young girl made the front page of the East London Advertiser on life support after being left for dead by a hit-and-run driver. Amy Verlander was fighting for her life at the age of 21, after being left injured by the kerbside in London’s East End

Special report by Else Kvist

IT IS just over two years ago that a young girl made the front page of the East London Advertiser on life support after being left for dead by a hit-and-run driver. Amy Verlander was fighting for her life at the age of 21, after being left injured by the kerbside in London’s East End.

Amy had to undergo countless operations as well as skin grafts and bone grafts and even now—two years on—continues to undergo treatment. Her parents say it’s a miracle she is alive today.

Amy, now 23, will never get back the life she had before. She had been engaged, had just moved into her own flat in Poplar and was enjoying a successful career.

But she has no memory of her life before the accident on a dark night in September, 2006, in Burdett Road, Limehouse.

Amy has learned to walk again, although she cannot run.

She tried returning to work at the Independent Police Complaints Commission in January, but was unable to hold down her old job.

CAN’T WORK

“I just came home from work one day and collapsed,” Amy explained.

“I have problems concentrating and sometimes can’t remember what people have just said.”

Amy can’t even watch a film or read a book because she is unable to remember the storyline and keep the characters apart.

Her mum Patricia said: “She completely lost the get up and go’ that she always had before the accident.”

Amy loves arts and crafts, but it is hard for her to concentrate and she has trouble with her arm movement.

Her dad John sees his daughter looking the same—but she is not.

“She has lost that glint in the eye she always had,” he says. “Her sharp wit, which was something I loved about her, also went after the accident.”

FEELING COLD

Amy lives in her own flat, but her parents have to keep a constant eye on her. They make her eat a good meal because her body doesn’t tell her when she’s hungry—nor when it’s too hot to wear a coat.

“I always feel cold because of the metal left in my body,” she says. “People think I’m strange because I’m wearing a duffle coat in the middle of summer.

“I can’t expose myself to the sun because of the skin grafts which makes me prone to skin cancer.”

John worries that his daughter may never have children. But he is forever thankful she is alive.

He was working in France when Amy was knocked down.

“I can’t remember anything of the drive to get back from France,” he says.

“Everything was just a daze and I was not prepared for what I faced when walking into that hospital.

“She is my first daughter and I was just heartbroken.”

Amy was in a coma for a week. If it wasn’t for the surgeons and the passer-by who spotted her in the road that night and stood in the road waving down the police car, John realises, Amy would be dead.

All he would have would be her picture on the window ledge to look at.

But thanks to that passer-by, he has Amy back again.


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