Kay's Story


My Name is Kay Kitto

It’s been one year since my accident. On September 2nd 2016? I was loading the boot of our family car, I’m visually impaired and had actually just put my guide dog into the car. I was waiting for my husband to bring out the cat and the last couple of bits when a lorry coming up the road crashed into the mobile home parked behind us and pushed it into me crushing me into the back of the car and then tearing over me which is what ripped my legs open. The force of the impact was such it threw my guide dog clear out of the car, I didn’t know this as I was now unconscious.

I suffered severe open fractures to both legs (right thigh and left tib and fib) my back was fractured in three places, I had a head injury and extensive bruising to my whole body. My life was saved at the scene and it was touch and go at each stage of transport if I’d make it to the next destination. I made it to the first hospital and then had to be blue lighted to the nearest trauma unit which is normally about a 90min drive, but it was the end of the summer holidays and all the holiday makers were heading home. I survived the journey to the trauma unit and was in the operating theatre not long after. My legs were cleaned debrided and fitted with fixators and traction. Then 48 hours later I was back in surgery to have my bones fixed back together, an intramedullary nail down through my right thigh and plates and screws in my left shin. Plastic surgery team cut a portion of my left calf muscle and brought it round to the front of my leg to cover the shin and the metalwork. The donor skin for grafts was taken from my thighs to use on my legs. It was hoped that my legs were fixed.

Sadly, the skin grafts didn’t take and they were removed and redone on the 17th of September. I was back in there again on the 20th as I had become very poorly and it was feared I had an infection in my legs, so they opened them up to clean them more only the discovered my legs were ok. I returned to the ward still not well at all and I just kept deteriorating. On the 21st I was taken for a CT scan which revealed I had a perforated bowel and that I was full of shit as I had been given laxatives, pessaries and an enema in the hope of relieving my tummy ache. I was taken to theatre shortly after and I woke up a few days later in intensive care on life support. I wasn’t aware of my ileostomy for a further few days. When I found out I had a stoma I was devastated, being partially sighted I couldn’t see how I was going to manage it. I refused to look at it I refused to change the bags I refused to talk about it, I hated it.

To cut a long story short to be able to get out of hospital after being there for 3 months already, I had to be able to change my stoma bags. I named my stoma Fred and that made it easier to accept. I started by emptying my bags and then helping to change them and I was determined I was going to get home for Christmas and the only way I was going to do this was by managing to walk a few feet with a Zimmer frame and being able to change my bags. I’ve been home 8 months now and I can change my bag with little help from my husband. There are no current plans to reverse my ileostomy, I’m too traumatized, still to undergo any operations not just the reversal. I’m walking 20 meters with a Zimmer frame and my recovery is ongoing.

I think I forgot to say the perforation was missed due to all the swelling from the accident. I had tummy pain all along, but it was put down to bruising. Coming round in intensive care still on the life support machines was the scariest thing ever, as I had to breathe with the machine and if I got the timing wrong I was trying to breath out as the machine was trying to breathe in and it was a bit of a panicked struggle.

When I returned to the ward a few days later and finally discovered I had an ileostomy I was devastated and it was made even harder to accept when it didn’t start to settle down with the pure liquid output. I was needing 8/9 bags a day because no matter how well they fitted a new bag, eventually it leaked even loperamide liquid didn’t work to slow/thicken the output. My skin had broken down, was very sore and would bleed at changes. I still struggle to eat properly ‘Fred’ doesn’t like many foods and I still take anti sickness tablets daily as well as daily loperamide melts and double strength dioralyte.

It’s Fred’s ‘birthday’ on the 21st of September and I’m sure he’ll get cake as that’s one thing I can eat ok.