Singer Lynsey recovering from life-threatening crash
A SOUTH Devon singer is well on her way to recovery after receiving life-threatening injuries in a car crash.
In November, Lynsey Dart, 25, was in an accident on the A380 Newton Road which left her only able to move her eyes.
Now six months on she is writing an online journal to help inspire and share her journey with others.
Writing for the first time about the accident she said: "To be honest, I don't remember the crash at all.
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"I don't even remember my time at Derriford Hospital.
"I remember a few vague almost dream-like memories from one of the wards at Torbay, people coming to visit.
"At that point I could only communicate with my eyes.
"But of my first memories is from a lady called Lucy telling me she had also recovered from brain damage and that really encouraged me.
"For some unknown reason this wasn't frightening to me.
"I just accepted it when people told me the story of why I was there.
"The more I recovered I began to feel frustrated with the situation — it's the closest thing to being buried alive."
After the crash Lynsey was on a "nil by mouth" for nearly five months.
She faced problems with her balance, was unable to walk, and most significant for a singer, lost her speech.
"I went from using my eyes to my signalling with my fingers on a board that my cousin made me then pointing to letters to writing them, then finally using my voice," she said.
"The hardest thing to deal with was not eating for four months and being fed through a tube that went directly into my stomach."
Initially she said the biggest issue to overcome was severe damage to neurons that control the soft palate.
Lynsey moved to the Mardon Neuro-Rehabilitation Centre at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital to receive specialist help.
"I'm much better now I am in one of the best neuro-rehabilation clinics in the country.
"I'm having physical therapy every day," she said.
"I also have speech therapy because, as a result of my brain damage, my speech has gone and I'm having to learn that again. It's hard, slow work but its getting better all the time."
Lynsey, who South Devon audiences would have seen at the Babbacombe Theatre and Princess Theatre with societies including Toads, said friends and family have been supportive.
"It's really encouraging when friends and family contact me whether they visit regularly or drop me the occasional message on Facebook," she said.
"It's also good to know that I have a really supportive family. I think this situation has brought us closer. My parents visit me every day and have to be prepared for whatever mood I might be in that day."
The accident hasn't taken away her sense of humour.
Lynsey joked that the support from medical staff is nothing like it is on television.
"From what I've experience of the NHS so far has been pretty good and it seems to be the same story in all the institutions.
"It's nothing like Scrubs although I have been guilty of perving over some of the attractive male nurses.
"I think that I mostly get on with the staff that have a good sense of humour and can relate to me, which is important."
She added: "I hope for the future to get back to where I was at Plymouth University studying for my degree in Theatre and Performance and mainly performing because, unashamedly, I am a total show-off and that is very close to my heart."
Meanwhile, readers can catch up with Lynsey on a regular basis through her online journal.
"The blog idea started with my sisters encouraging me to keep a diary of my progress because I kept forgetting how far I'd come and consequently becoming miserable," she said.
"The online blog idea came from my friend Karen Duffield who thought I should share my progress online so lots of people could keep updated. She's a genius.
"So, if you want to follow my journey go on Facebook type Lynsey Dart at the top of my page and follow the link. Take the journey I hope it will inspire you." To see Lynsey's updates visit lynseydart.livejournal.com