Alpine Coach Crash Survivor Graduates with Physiotherapy Degree
3rd August 2021
Last modified on August 9th, 2021
27-year old Catrin Pugh suffered 96% burns and was given a one in 1,000 chance of survival after the crash in 2013 descending from Alpe d’Huez.
Catrin Pugh spent eight months in hospital and had more than 200 operations.
She said she had been inspired to study the course by her healthcare team and the physiotherapists who gave her back her mobility.
She was 19 at the time of the accident and was returning from working a ski season.
“When I had my accident I didn’t think I would graduate from university or even think I’d go to university,” she said to the BBC.
“It’s a bit of a cliche but I was completely inspired by the healthcare team that I worked with and physiotherapy was a great fit for me because I had grown up being so active.
“Although the surgeons and nurses saved my life and played a massive part, in my eyes my physios gave me back my mobility, my walking, my ability to use my hands and that made a massive difference to me,” she said.
The driver, Maurice Wrightson, died in the accident after he deliberately crashed the coach to prevent a larger loss of life as his brakes failed on the mountain road.
Catrin praised, Maurice Wrightson, as the award was made.
”When our coach crashed, Maurice Wrightson made the decision to basically sacrifice himself to give us all a chance to live,” she said in a social media.
“This bravery has just been recognised and awarded by many, with Maurice receiving A Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.
“Whilst he isn’t alive to accept it, I hope it secures his legacy of being a hero to so many of us, and allows others to also remember this man’s absolute selflessness!
Thank you Maurice!”
See here for details of her graduation on the BBC.