A RAPHOE mum who lost part of her arm in collision almost a year ago has spoken about the impact of her life-changing injury and the incredible support she still receives.
Evette Woods had to had her right arm below the elbow amputated following a single-vehicle collision between Raphoe and Letterkenny in April of last year.
The 35-year-old mother of two was rushed to Letterkenny University Hospital but was then immediately airlifted to Galway University Hospital for emergency surgery.
Evette spent a total of nine days in both hospitals before being discharged. While knowing the reality that her life would change profoundly, Evette made a decision as soon as she woke from surgery.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Evette said: “The accident has really impacted my life but from the moment I woke up from surgery I decided to get up and keep going. It was a terrible thing to have happened but I want to stay positive for my partner and two young children the best I can.”
One of the most difficult things was telling her children, now aged 12 and eight.
“I didn’t tell them about what happened until I came back from Galway to Letterkenny hospital. I went to the car park to meet them and explained what happened. I told them my arm was now called Mrs Stumpy. They had plenty of questions, especially my son, he was very inquisitive but they have both been fantastic and have taken it with resilience.”
Buoyed by the outpouring of community support in the wake of the accident, Evette decided to put her experience to the positive by creating a blog, ‘The Adventures of Mrs Stumpy’ to have some laughs and inspire others along the way.
“I named my blog ‘The Adventures of Mrs Stumpy’ because that’s what I named my arm the day I woke from surgery. It’s a space for sharing positivity and I have received so much support from it. The community response at the time and since has been absolutely amazing. Even now when I go into Raphoe and I meet people they always ask me how I am doing.”
Evette had to learn to write again and she is also now on the road, having passed an assessment to drive.
“I had to readapt to so many things. I was right handed and had to learn to write with my left hand. I just took my time and was patient about it. I’m am getting there now.
“I was able to get an assessment in Dublin for driving again. I did the assessment in Dún Laoghaire and I was deemed suitable to drive. I now drive an automatic car with adaptations on the steering wheel which were fitted in Letterkenny. I wanted to get on the ball about driving as soon as possible because I missed the small things like taking the kids to school.”
Like everyone, Evette found lockdown difficult.
“I had Covid over Christmas and an uncle of mine passed away too, so the last while has been upsetting. The first lockdown was easy because of the great weather but as time went on and more lockdowns and restrictions came in, I found it hard like everyone else.
“The positive from it was that my appointments in Dublin continued. I don’t have as many appointments to go to now but I have one coming up to check out muscle tone for a prosthetic limb.”
A popular and bubbly hairdresser, Evette had to give up her job. Keeping her eyes fixed on creativity, she said she is considering moving in to the make-up industry.
“I have always loved art and from when I could pick up a pencil I have always drawn. Recently, I did some woodwork with a women’s group in Strabane. I love all things creative.”
Evette plans to keep her blog going.
“I hope it helps and inspires others.”
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Posted: 1:30 pm February 21, 2022
Jason Gibson said that everyone had been left shaken but that things could have been much worse.