29 September 2021
Georgia's Blog - https://www.thegratefulpeg.co.uk
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A must read...
Hello all out there! I’ve had a few months off from writing my The Grateful Peg entries, and well, writing full stop really. Writer’s block could be one reason behind this, but to be honest it’s not just the feeling uninspired, but I haven’t really found the energy or time. Usually in this part of the year consists of a furiously busy schedule. And yes, I have been enjoying my time now that life is ‘opening up’ again, but real life has also caught up simultaneously. In true English fashion, here I am commenting on just how fast time is going, and how I can’t quite believe it’s September already…My summer has been filled with all sorts of events: I went away to Portugal (back in JUNE! but wow that already feels like last June), my best mate threw a festival, I’ve caught up with old friends and made some amazing new ones, spent time with family after a stupidly distant first half of the year, and I’ve started a new job which I’m whole-heartedly loving; all meanwhile trying to live presently.
In true Summer fashion, many of the healthy mind and body habits that were built over lockdown have definitely laxxed a bit, and as a result, my mental health has been a little bit more haywire. This is also down to a multiple of reasons like my leg developing a sore/blister/infection (from rubbing on my prosthesis), which flares up every time I slightly overdo it, coupled with a hormonal rollercoaster I can’t quite keep in the drivers seat. I’m noticing myself deal with this in a much more calm and collected way than say a year ago however, but sometimes just because you’ve figured out how to deal with things doesn’t make the ‘things’ much less difficult. In retrospect, I’ve realised that although the Summer months are laced with happy memories and parties galore, they are historically also when my mental health deteriorates (much induced by said parties and not looking after myself, of course).
It’s coming up to two years since my accident at the end of the month, I remember it like it was yesterday, and even more so where I was mentally that Summer. I was really depressed and lost, but what happened on that day with the bus really put me where I needed to be and shook me to my core. As I’ve mentioned and what I want to delve into further on this blog, is just how much of a positive change ‘it’ brought into my life. Changing my outlook, and helping me realise just how lucky we are to be put on this planet for such a short amount of time, and of course the gratitude that then followed suit. I was at the end of my tether, a lost puppy this time two years ago, even though life seemed great on the surface- 22 years old with amazing friends and family; but what about the relationship I had with myself? Battered. Yes, since I lost my leg that day (I need to think of a simpler way to refer to that day, the day my life changed for the better), I’ve gone to the deep depths of rock bottom and back. But since then, with help of therapy, EMDR, self-help books + podcasts, spirituality and my resulting own determination to push myself, I have come out the other side. It’s not all rosy, as mentioned earlier I still am struggling with things, but we all are.
Life doesn’t get ‘fixed’, you don’t suddenly get ‘better’ and that’s that. But what does change is your ability to deal with the forthcomings of life. We all get shit thrown at us, no matter the degree. But I believe it is how we handle it and the things we put in place to help us do so that really matters. This of course does not happen overnight, it has taken me two years to get to this point and I have much more to go, as we all do with life, but wow what a change that has come. The only constant thing in it is yourself, so make that the relationship of priority, as life is full of change and complexity, filled with ebbs and flows- or as Ronan Keating so eloquently says ‘Life is a rollercoaster, we just gotta ride it’.
So I thought I’d accompany this post with another carefully curated playlist (lol) of my current songs that have been accompanying me this Summer. If you’re feeling fancy you could even go so far to say they all kinda lift yer up in their own way… if you’re like me and use music as a form of therapy, and struggling out there in need of some lifting, then I hope these tunes at least help relieve some mental tension.
Writing and Music are both so important in my life, so sitting here tonight sorting this has helped cheer me up…so thanks for reading and listening to my public therapy sesh.
[Some old favourites and some new, thank you to those who introduced some of these into my life and into my permanent library of music for the soul]
- Life is a Rollercoaster, Ronan Keating
- T.V Scene (Sensurround Mix), Linda di Franco
- First Base Bossa, Tim Love Lee
- Love and Hate in a Different Time, Gabriels
- Ewe, Fabiano Do Nascimento
- The Magic Eye, The Zenman
- Ever New, Beverly Glenn-Copeland
- ~~~~~~, Hidden Spheres
- The Ocean, Anchorsong and Bookend
- Future Perfect, The Durutti Column
- Passion, PinkPantheress
- Halftime, Nas
- Deja Vu, Dionne Warwick
- Billy Jack, Curtis Mayfield
- one life, might live, Little Simz
- Bust a Move, Young MC
- In the Image, Beverly Glenn-Copeland
- I’m Alright in the World, BC Camplight
- Man on my Mind, Cornelia Murr
- Sereia Sentimental, Sessa
- Who Knows Where The Time Goes, Nina Simone
- Southbound Again, Dire Straits
- State of Independence, Donna Summer
- THE LEFT BANK, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Robin Scott
- Alone - Paradise, Don Carlos
- Ready to Go, Republica
- Insecure Me, Soft Cell
- Raspberry Beret, Prince
Til next time,
The Grateful Peg, G X
Help for Georgia
23rd September 2020
An update on Georgia’s progress one year on from her accident
It is hard to believe that we are already one year on from when Georgia had her life changed forever. She has been continuing to amaze her family and friends in how she has been coping with the daily struggles she faces as she comes to terms with the loss of her leg. She is now using her fourth temporary prosthetic leg, which is a ‘pin and lock’ system. This puts more pressure onto her ‘residual leg’, or ‘stump’, so it has, and continues to be quite painful for her to use. But she is a courageous and brave young woman and is adapting to her new normal. Georgia is still under the amazing care of the Leeds NHS prosthetic team and will continue to travel there for the foreseeable future. It has also been an extra challenging time for Georgia throughout the whole Covid-19 period as well as dealing with her university work, and subsequently moving to London where she is now living with her sister and brother-in-law. She is hopeful to be able to tackle the last part of her university work including her dissertation and to be able to finalise her History of Art degree over the next few months.
We are as a family continually grateful for all the love and support from all our families and friends, and in particular, Georgia’s amazing friends she has had by her side from school, and also Leeds University - you have been incredible in your unwavering constant help, love, physical and emotional support for her and we are eternally grateful.
We are still researching and reviewing what treatments and options could be available for Georgia in the future. Her leg is healing well but it will be some time before she will be able to have a permanent and hopefully more comfortable prosthetic that she will be able to use for most activities. We have been blown away by everyones generosity and kindness and are forever grateful for your help and donations towards her future prosthetics.
With much love, the Stannard family.
Recent photos of Georgia
Georgia at Leeds Prosthetic Center with her latest new pin and lock prosthetic! (July 2020)
....putting her latest "pin and lock" leg on ...
...first swim without her leg on...
Donations through Go Get Funding are of course most welcome. All currencies are accepted. The website card processing fees is around 7%, so there is an option to transfer donations directly to Juliet and Georgias account in UK.
Barclays Bank Account
Ms J Stannard Re Georgia Chloe Stannard
Sort Code 20-16-99
Ac no: 90472085
Please put Georgia Fund as reference.
Thank you all so very much.
Georgia Stannard (September 2019)
On the 23 rd September 2019, Georgia, my youngest daughter aged 22 years old, was hit by a double decker bus in London, at a very busy junction in Clapham Common while crossing the road. She can’t remember the exact details of the accident but within 48 hours, she had to have her right leg amputated 10 cm below her knee. As you can imagine, this has been a tremendous shock for Georgia, her family and everyone who knows her. She has been ( and continues to be) incredibly brave, courageous and generally positive as she knows how lucky she was to survive at all. It could have been so much worse. She was in the Trauma ward at Kings College Hospital in London for 4 weeks followed by 4 weeks in an Amputee Rehabilitation Unit where the continuous NHS care was outstanding. She was lucky to have received such amazing care. The support and love from friends and family from around the world has also been incredible. This is what has kept Georgia, myself and our family going day to day. Georgia is in her final year at Leeds University, and her main wish from the moment the accident happened was to be able to rejoin her university course and to be back living with her friends in her Uni house which she managed to do a month ago. Unfortunately, the reality of trying to live in a house with lots of stairs is proving extremely difficult. Currently Georgia is mainly in her wheelchair and unable to use her prosthetic as her leg is still so swollen. It will take at least a year or so before it is fully healed and she can walk for more than a few hours using a prosthetic leg. But eventually, I know Georgia will want to be doing everything she can physically like walking, running, swimming, skiing and most importantly, dancing! She has a basic prosthetic leg given to her by the NHS, however if she wants to be able do all the things above she will need to have a custom-designed prosthetic leg. They are unfortunately, very expensive and is not something that we as a family have access to. A specialist prosthetic leg can cost up to and in the region of £50,000 plus. Or, if we want to explore new innovative treatments for Amputees moving forward and which are available, we would need to currently go with private Consultants. Then there are ongoing costs involved. With the age that she is now she will need to have new prosthetic legs every five years or so, plus ongoing prosthetic physiotherapy and all the other related costs for the rest of her life. At this point in time ( just over 5 months since the accident) it is not looking likely that there will be any recourse for any costs to be awarded to Georgia through any claims against the bus company insurance.
She has been such an inspiration to everyone in how she has dealt with the impact of what happened to her and she wants to be able to help and inspire people who are facing difficulties in their lives just like her.
By Juliet Stannard, Georgia’s mother
My Goddaughter Georgia
I have known the Stannard family now for around 27 years. Georgia is my goddaughter. Many of you will already know the tragedy the family experienced on Boxing Day in 2004. They were all together in Khao Lak, just north of Phuket, Thailand, with friends celebrating Christmas when the Asian Tsunami happened. Tragically, Simon (Georgia, Lucy and Charlie’s father) was taken by the 40 foot high wave of water. Khao Lak was particularly badly hit that Boxing Day morning. Simons body has never been found and the repercussions of the trauma for all the Stannard family are still felt today. For the children to grow up without their father has been especially tough and his absence is felt every day of their lives. The family have had more than their fair share of bad luck and tragedy.
Georgia has been an absolute inspiration since her accident and shown such resilience. This is what Georgia had to say in an Instagram posting just 7 weeks after her accident a few months ago-
“I am so lucky to still be here, a weird sort of relief as if I’ve been given another chance. I’ve still got a seriously long way to go - my leg hurts most of the day and my walking needs a lot more practice. But right now I can’t wait to go out there and LIVE to the absolute full. Life is so beautifully exciting and we are all so lucky to live it!” Inspirational words.
I know there are so many friends out there that want to help so by starting this GoGetFunding page dedicated to Georgia we can help her on her way to leading a normal life as possible. Funds raised for Georgia will either go towards a specialist prosthetic leg that is customised for her and will be so much more comfortable and easier to use or there is also another possibility with a procedure that is relatively new in the UK but well established in Australia and that is Osseointegration. Georgia would need to first be assessed for this. Either way with the technology of the prosthetics that are available we can help to make it happen for Georgia.
Any help you feel you can give to Georgia will be hugely appreciated by her and her family and will make such a massive difference to her quality of life.
By Sarah James
Videos showing Georgia’s progress over the first few months since the accident ...