A couple has praised staff at a Lancashire hospital who saved their lives following a horrific lorry crash which has left them with life-changing injuries.

In 2018, Charlotte McCarthy, from Accrington, and her partner Jak Metcalfe were on their way to Haslingden from her graduation ceremony when they were involved in a horror crash at Grane Road.

The car they were travelling in was struck by a 7.5 tonne HGV lorry.

Charlotte and Jak were restrained back seat passengers and sustained major traumatic internal abdominal injuries whilst the front seat passengers, members of Charlotte’s family, were also injured and taken to hospital. 

Lancashire Telegraph: Charlotte McCarthy and Jak MetcalfeCharlotte McCarthy and Jak Metcalfe

The vehicle was so severely damaged that the family had to be cut from the wreckage by the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.

Charlotte and Jak were treated at the scene by the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) and due to the severity of their injuries, were transported to Royal Preston Hospital, as the regional Major Trauma Centre to for stabilisation and definitive treatment. 

Both families were told Charlotte and Jak had life threatening and life changing injuries, with a low chance of survival.

Charlotte sustained serious multiple internal abdominal injuries as well as injuries to her chest, lungs, and spine, which caused her to be hospitalised for 36 days.

Lancashire Telegraph:  Charlotte McCarthy Charlotte McCarthy

Jak sustained serious multiple abdominal injuries, in particular to the bowel, and was hospitalised for a total of 35 days.

However, some good has come from the crash as during his operation, Jak was found to have a cancerous tumour in his appendix which fortunately was identified and treated immediately.

Charlotte and Jak required intensive monitoring and care during their stay with input from multiple specialities and services. 

The surgeons, nurses and other staff members all worked collaboratively in ensuring they both had the best possible recovery and outcome. 

Against the odds, Charlotte and Jak miraculously overcame their initial injuries, and they are still recovering and have required further ongoing treatment. 

This story comes as Royal Preston Hospital’s major trauma centre celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Lancashire Telegraph:  Charlotte McCarthy and Jak Metcalfe with hospital staff Charlotte McCarthy and Jak Metcalfe with hospital staff

Charlotte said: “We will be forever grateful to the wonderful staff at Royal Preston hospital, not only for all their expertise when dealing with our injuries, but also for their kindness and understanding during what has been a terrible time for us as a family. 

"It has been a while since our initial accident, but the severity of our injuries has unfortunately means that many of our problems will be long term.

"Everybody has problems in life that are relative to them, but there are times when we do feel that our family have suffered beyond other’s comprehension”.

Royal Preston Hospital became a Major Trauma Centre (MTC) for Lancashire & South Cumbria in July 2012. 

Since then, the Major Trauma Centre has treated more than 11,500 trauma patients, many with life changing and life-threatening injuries. 

As the regional MTC, Royal Preston Hospital receives the most severely injured patients from across the Lancashire & South Cumbria region and provides critical, lifesaving treatment.