October 5, 2012, ( – After Natalie Lander’s car spun out of control on a wet manhole cover and crashed, doctors didn’t know whether she would survive. With her back broken in four places, her neck in two, her vocal chords crushed, and traumatic brain injuries, the odds seemed against it.

“The doctors told me to prepare for the worst,” says Natalie’s husband, Marcus.

But it was when doctors did a routine scan to find out whether Natalie was pregnant, that they realized they were fighting for more than just one life. She was four weeks pregnant. 


Natalie, who had just woken from a drug-induced coma when she learned the news, says that she was “torn between being overjoyed and terrified.”

Overjoyed, because Natalie and her husband had both thought that Natalie, who already had one boy but suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, was unable to have more children. And terrified because suddenly Natalie’s recovery was that much more complicated, and because another life depended on it.

“I was so scared when I found out I was expecting – I didn’t know how we would cope,” she says.

At first doctors recommended an abortion, but the couple would have nothing to do with it. “We wanted to fight for our baby,” she says.

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In the months to come, Natalie says, “I was trying to concentrate on getting myself better, but I was so worried about the little baby growing inside me. Medics kept telling me he would be fine, but I wouldn’t believe it until I held him in my arms.”

But before that day could come, Natalie had to get through months of grueling physiotherapy, re-learning basic skills such as standing, walking, and talking. Driven by her desire to be a mom to her two children, Natalie made progress much faster than doctors thought possible.

Then, one day in March, Natalie was finally able to meet her baby, Max, face-to-face.

Since then Natalie has continued to make further progress, to the point that she has been able to return to work part time. Though she still has some stiffness on her left side, and doctors say a long road of recovery still lies ahead of her, she says she is grateful that she is able to care for her boys. 

“I am so incredibly grateful to the doctors and nurses who have helped me, and West Midlands Air Ambulance, who saved my life,” she says.

“I can’t ever thank them enough for saving my family.”