Surgeons remove chunk of woman's skull to reduce brain swelling after car runs red light, plows into her

Doctors were forced to remove a large part of a British woman’s skull after she was hit by a car while crossing the street.

In June 2018, Steph Blake, 22, told South West News Service (SWNS), a British news agency, that a car plowed into her as she was using a pedestrian walkway. She waited for the light to change and had the right-of-way when the incident occurred, she said.


“I remember the cars had stopped and the lane being empty, then I remember a car at my left hip,” she recalled. "I can also remember laying on the ground and think I have a memory of people coming to help.  After that, there is just nothing.”

The 22-year-old had the front part of her skull removed following the scary incident. 

The 22-year-old had the front part of her skull removed following the scary incident.  (SWNS)

Added Blake: “The next thing I recall is waking up in the hospital and seeing my dad.”

The crash sent the young woman flying through the air. The subsequent land on the road caused traumatic brain injury, which the Mayo Clinic says “usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body.”

Steph Blake following surgery. (SWNS)

Steph Blake following surgery. (SWNS)

Blake was rushed to Southampton General Hospital and was admitted to the Wessex Neurological Unit, per SWNS.

Blake, who was in a coma for 19 days following the incident,  says she underwent surgery to remove the front part of her skull in an attempt to reduce swelling and pressure on her brain. Her skull was eventually re-attached using titanium plates and screws, the Daily Mail reports. She has since undergone two other surgeries.

A healthy Steph Blake.

A healthy Steph Blake. (SWNS)

Though she has made great progress in the past year, Blake said she still suffers from memory loss, concentration issues, and fatigue, among other side effects. The ordeal has also cost the 22-year-old an employment opportunity, as she was forced to decline a job offer to become a flight attendant for EasyJet, she claims.

“The past year or so has been the most difficult of my life and the incident has affected me in so many ways. I was devastated that I couldn’t take up my cabin crew job and it is difficult not to think about how things could have been different,” she said.

Steph Blake in the hospital recovering.

Steph Blake in the hospital recovering. (SWNS)


But difficulties aside, Blake said she is grateful to be alive.

“I have to remember that I’m lucky to be alive. I’m determined to look to the future and move forward with my life,” she continued. “Nothing will change what has happened, but I just want to encourage people to always be careful on the road. Failing to do so can have massive consequences.”