Cellist, 23, who ‘picked her arm off the road’ after she was hit by a lorry that turned into cycle lane fears she may never be able to turn professional after being forced to drop out of prestigious music college
- Laura Armstrong was cycling through London when she was run over by a lorry
- Cellist, 23, was told by doctors she may lose arm and underwent 11-hour surgery
- Ms Armstrong had to drop out of Masters at prestigious Royal College of Music
- Now recovering, Ms Armstrong is campaigning for changes to the Highway Code
A talented cellist fears her dreams of turning professional have been shattered after she nearly lost her arm when she was run over by a lorry.
Cyclist Laura Armstrong, 23, says she picked her arm off the road and couldn’t move her fingers after the crash in Stratford, London.
The young musician was forced to drop out of a prestigious music college and put her career on hold after suffering severe injuries to her right arm.
The 23-year-old, who has performed with world famous conductors and composers including Sir Mark Elder and the late Oliver Knussen, was knocked down when a lorry crossed into her cycle lane.
Suffering excruciating pain, Laura was rushed to The Royal London Hospital where medics told her they may have to amputate her arm.
She underwent emergency surgery, inserting a vein graft into her arm to replace the main artery, which had been destroyed.
Two days later, she underwent a further 11-hour operation which involved a nerve graft, two plates for a fracture and skin grafts from her right and left thighs.
Laura underwent an 11-hour emergency operation to save her arm which involved inserting a vein graft into her arm to replace the main artery, which had been destroyed during the crash
Cellist Laura Armstrong, 23, who nearly lost her arm after being run over by a lorry fears she will never become a professional musician after she was forced to drop out of music college
Medics told Laura she may lose her arm when she was rushed to the Royal London Hospital
Nearly two years after the incident, Laura, of East London, is still undergoing significant treatment and has just undergone further surgery.
But as a result of her injuries, Laura has been unable to continue with her master’s degree at the Royal College of Music and was forced to defer her place whilst she underwent rehabilitation.
She now fears her injuries will prevent her realising her dream of becoming a professional cellist after a promising start to her career that involved tours in Britain, Scandinavia and Singapore.
Laura said: ‘The crash happened so quickly. I was cycling in the cycle lane and suddenly the lorry turned directly across my path and I ended up under the lorry.
‘I remember picking my arm up from the road and my fingers were white and wouldn’t move.
‘There was blood on the road. It was terrifying and excruciatingly painful. I never imagined one could be in such pain. The surgeons told me they were very close to amputating my arm but they were amazing and managed to save it.
‘As a musician, what they did for me goes beyond words and I will always be thankful. What happened that day continues to affect me still, both physically and emotionally.
‘The accident has had a huge impact on my ability to do everyday things, including having to learn to write with my left hand.
‘I have very little feeling in my right hand and limited movement in my arm and my greatest challenge is not knowing what the future holds for my career and if I will be able to become a cellist.’
The road to recovery: Laura still receives significant treatment as part of her rehabilitation
Laura instructed serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help her access the specialist rehabilitation and therapies she requires.
Originally from Newcastle, she has also joined her legal team in supporting the consultation on changes to The Highway Code.
One of the proposals – under rule H3 – will require motorists to give priority to cyclists when the driver is turning in or out of a junction or changing direction or lane.
Laura was on her way to meet friends for lunch when the crash happened in October 2019 in Stratford. She remained in hospital for 12 days after the incident and underwent extensive treatment.
The proposed new Rule H3 sets out that drivers should not cut across cyclists going ahead, when turning into or out of a junction, or changing lane.
This applies to cyclists using a cycle lane, cycle track or riding ahead on the road.