Skip to content

Manchester Foundation
Trust Charity

How You’ve Helped

Bethany Lee

Manchester Royal Infirmary

Bethany learns to walk again and takes on Lantern Walk

Bethany, 20, was in car accident with her family where she had broken both her femurs and needed several surgeries for internal injuries. Now, 25 and having learned to walk again, Bethany works at Saint Mary’s Hospital and has supported our Charity.

On their way home from a football match in 2018, Bethany and her family were in a people carrier coming off the M60, when another car collided with the back of their car. The group had been to a local Radcliffe game where her father, well-known sports photographer Peter Lee, was taking pictures. Sadly, he was killed in the crash.

Bethany said: “I remember being cut out of the car by a fireman. But I was only aware of that for a moment. Then the next memory I have is in hospital about a week later.”

Bethany was taken to Manchester Royal infirmary and was treated by the ward then known as the Emergency Surgical Trauma Unit, where she stayed for three months. She had broken both her femurs and had a number of internal injuries which required several surgeries.

She said: “Everything inside had ruptured basically. So I had really long surgeries and lots of them. I was always in and out of theatre while they were trying to fix everything.

“For about two weeks I was having surgeries, including to put metal pins in my legs to make them straight. Then I got an infection on my legs and I so then I was in surgery every other day while that was sorted.

While in Manchester Royal Infirmary Bethany had daily physiotherapy. She said: “I was see-saw all the time so it was a long recovery. I’d been laid down for so long that when I could get up and move a little bit I would feel sick. It was a real struggle starting to learn to walk again.

“I’d do little exercises to help me move. Then I got a wheelchair and they were able to wheel me around the hospital and off the ward. It was nice to just get off the ward for a bit and see different places.”

In total Bethany was in hospital three months and was bed ridden for most of that time. It was another five months before she was properly walking and doing things on her own again.

Bethany said: “When I first left the hospital we had to move my bed downstairs. After the wheelchair I was on crutches for a bit and then it was almost a year after the crash by the time I could walk unaided.

“At the time I was doing at course at my local college to go into teaching. But I had a change of heart when I was in the crash and was treated at Manchester Royal Infirmary. I realised I wanted to work for the NHS.

Bethany said: “I started working at Saint Mary’s Hospital at the end of July 2023 and in my very first payslip there was a notice in it advertising the Lantern Walk. I thought it would be nice to give something back to the hospital where I’d been treated.

“I really just want to raise what I can. My sister, Jasmine, was 12 at the time of the car crash. She will be doing Lantern Walk with me.

“I’d never heard of the event before I started working for the NHS, so this is my first time doing it. But I think we will really enjoy it and I like the idea of the walk around Heaton Park with the lanterns.”

The event also coincided with a milestone for Bethany – in October 2023 she was officially discharged from Manchester Royal Infirmary.

She said: “It was nice finally being discharged. It has been five years now. I still ache a bit sometimes but that’s quite normal for an injury like mine.

“I’m mainly doing Lantern Walk as a thank you to everyone who helped me in my recovery on the wards. But I’m also doing it in memory of my dad as well. It’s just me and Jasmine doing it together, which will be nice.”

I thought it would be nice to give something back to the hospital where I’d been treated.”

Stay in the loop

Let’s keep in touch! Sign up here to receive the latest news about charity events and projects, and how you can help, straight to your inbox.