A woman who fell down a 12-foot drop and fractured her neck and later gave birth to a baby boy has made a miracle recovery.
Cary Edby, 25, from Ramsgate, in the county of Kent, England, had gone out for a cigarette two days before Christmas on Dec. 23, 2019, when she lost her footing and somersaulted over a wall, plummeting toward the basement flat, face first.
At first, Ms. Edby couldn’t move her mouth to speak but finally mustered the energy to call for help. Luckily, two strangers heard her and were able to get her mother, Diane Dee, 59, who called the ambulance and fire brigade.
It took three hours for the firefighters to get Ms. Edby out from where she was stuck; she was rushed to William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, Kent, England. A CT scan revealed she’d fractured her neck in three places, and she was moved to King’s College Hospital, London.
She had spinal surgery on Christmas Eve and wore a neck brace for three months. Ms. Edby says that “everyone feels it’s a complete miracle” that she’s fine now.
“I went outside for a cigarette and lost my balance and somersaulted over the wall. I fell face first,” Ms. Edby said. “When I fell, I couldn’t talk or move. I thought, ‘This is it—I’m paralyzed.’
“I wanted to call for help, but I couldn’t open my mouth. Finally, I was able to, but it was really quiet and raspy. Then I heard a voice saying, ‘We can hear you.’ Two heads appeared from up on the wall. They were able to go and get my mum as I’d left the door open. I heard a drip noise and thought it was raining but apparently, my head was bleeding. The firefighters had to lower a stretcher down to me to get me out.”
Ms. Edby had severe scoliosis at the age of 15 and received spinal fusion surgery; the doctors had “put lots of metal joints” in her spine.
“That surgery saved me as it stopped me from breaking more of my spine,” she said.
In April 2022, she welcomed her son, Freddy, now aged 1, with her partner, Connor Wright, 27, a general manager.
Slowly, Ms. Edby has regained her mobility but has been left with a 50% reduction in both sides of her neck, meaning she struggles to turn her head. However, doctors are amazed that she can still walk and hasn’t been left paralyzed by the accident.
“It’s completely amazing,” she said. “Doctors can’t believe I’m not in a wheelchair. Crossing the road is difficult. I have to move my entire body to look left and right.”
Ms. Edby spent the 2020 lockdown recovering and being looked after by her mother, Diane, before losing her to COVID-19 in December 2021—when Ms. Edby was five months pregnant. She lost her grandmother, Sylvia, 80, just a month before.
She still struggles with chronic pain but loves being a mom.
“It’s been a series of unfortunate events,” Ms. Edby said. “I have nerve damage behind my ears, and I get dizzy when I bend over. Connor helps out a lot with Freddy.
“Freddy is amazing. He’s very funny. He’s got my nan’s smile, and I think he looks like my mum.”