A YOUNG mum, who was crushed by an out-of-control car as she threw her daughter to safety, has defied expectations to be home for Christmas.

As reported in The Gazette, mum-of-three Laura Percival was crushed against her home in Willoughby Way, Winklebury, by a car which careered towards her and her young daughter Freya on the afternoon of Thursday, September 5.

Quick-thinking Laura, 26, was able to fling Freya, then aged four, to safety, but took the full force of the car impact herself and sustained serious injuries, including a shattered pelvis and broken bones in her back.

Since the incident, Laura has had to undergo nine operations, and a recent infection in her legs meant that she was being treated in Salisbury and Southampton hospitals as recently as three weeks ago.

She said: “I was supposed to have a deep tissue transplant but because I have lost three stone with being so ill, the skin on my legs has stretched and that meant I wasn’t able to have the transplant, which made things more difficult.

“I didn’t realise at the time how ill I was with the infection, but I wasn’t expected to be out of hospital by Christmas.”

However, just as Laura has amazed doctors with her overall recovery, the mother-of-three rallied and was allowed to come home for the festive season.

“It’s not easy but I needed to be home with the kids – I needed to be a mum,” said Laura, who is delighted to be home with husband Gary, sons Harley, six, and Corey, one, and Freya, who is now five.

Laura said: “After what the kids have been through over the last three months, we really want to treat them, and we want to make this Christmas really special.”

Despite the setbacks, Laura has made incredible progress.

She has had her ex-fix – a large metal ‘cage’ which was holding her shattered pelvis together – removed and has recently taken her first steps with the aid of crutches.

Last week, she started a course of physiotherapy and hopes to be walking unaided by September, which will be a year after the incident.

She has also seen a psychiatrist who has been helping her deal with the mental effects that the horrifying incident has had on her.

She said: “It’s not just the physical problems. When I close my eyes at night, I can still hear the sound of the car hitting me.”

Laura and Gary, 31, are now making plans for the New Year and hope to take their children to Disneyland Paris next year.

Laura said: “Even if I have to be pushed round in my wheelchair, it would be a really lovely trip for the kids – we’re trying to focus on the future.

“I think we do appreciate the little things more now, and I’m so glad we are able to be together for Christmas.”

A 27-year-old Basingstoke woman, who was driving the Honda Civic which hit Laura, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of dangerous driving and being unfit to drive through drink or drugs. She is still on bail pending further inquiries.