Behind every scar there’s a story and this story is mine.
Where do you start when you're telling a story about yourself? At the beginning or now? How far back do you go? What to include? What do you think people want to read about you? All questions I’ve asked myself before writing this piece for The Scar Free Foundation.
So just, to be different let’s start with the now! I’m Susan Greenwood, 45yrs old (April 2021). I live in Bournemouth with my Husband, two children and two dogs. I have worked for the NHS all my adult life and currently work for NHS England and NHS Improvement. I’m passionate about the NHS and healthcare and feel proud to be involved both professionally and in my personal life as an Ambassador for The Scar Free Foundation.
I’m an above knee amputee, have too many ailments to mention in this text but suffice it to say I have spent the last 16 years in and out of Hospitals for many different reasons. How I ended up in this position always revokes the same response from people ‘oh my goodness’, ‘that must have been awful’, ‘I was / my brother was / my friend was in London that day’, and my favourite ‘you’re so brave and an inspiration’. How on earth did I end up an inspiration for being me, and for doing the most normal thing after a tragedy, to simply live on and enjoy life?! So I guess that’s where I need to go back to the start of this incredible journey of mine, of my Husband’s and of my Family and my Friends.
A little bit of history first. Born in The Medway Towns, went to college, started work, trained as an Operating Department Practitioner, decided to travel the World with friends, lived and worked in Australia, came home and lived in Kent for approximately 5 minutes before realising I needed more from life. Got myself a job in London and off I went to start my new life. But the real story starts a couple of years later when I was 29 years old and I was the healthiest I had ever been in my life and indeed the fittest. I ran, cycled, circuit trained, swam and anything else that life could give. I worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the operating theatres as one of their Senior Operating Department Practitioners. I lived with my boyfriend (now husband) in North London and life was good. I distinctly remember my 29th birthday where my boyfriend surprised me with a trip to Le Touquet in France. We were flown by our two friends Alec and Frank who were trainer pilots in two little prop planes. We took bikes from the airport to Le Touquet town. Had lunch and champagne and flew back to meet friends for dinner. I mean this was what dreams were made of for a girl from Gillingham in Kent.
Life was really very good.
Suddenly all of that changed when I was travelling to work one day.