I finally feel sexy
WOMAN'S OWN|February 02, 2021
Losing weight helped Kate Cradduck, 44, put the spark back into her marriage
SASKIA MURPHY, MATT BARBOUR

As first dates go, ours was perfect, right up until the moment Richard, then 31, leant in and kissed me for the first time. It was a beautiful autumn night in October 2007, and we’d just left the pub and started making our way to the taxi rank when he made his move. ‘Thank you for a lovely evening,’ Richard said, and I closed my eyes, taking in the moment.

As we embraced, a car suddenly mounted the pavement, roaring towards us and hitting us both head on. It all happened so fast as Richard was flung one way and I flew the other. I don’t really remember the impact as I crashed back down onto the pavement.

Fog of pain

I must have been unconscious for several minutes, but when I woke up I could hear sirens. In a fog of pain and shock, I was blue-lighted to Eastbourne District General Hospital, where X-rays showed I’d sustained damage to tendons in my legs and feet, and my spine was badly bruised.

On a high dose of painkillers, I was wheeled onto a ward, where I saw Richard lying in a hospital bed.

‘We thought we’d put you two lovebirds together,’ a nurse smiled. With dried blood staining my face and bruises all over my body, I looked terrible.

‘This is definitely a first date to remember,’ I joked, laughing away the pain.

I soon got over my initial embarrassment as Richard was badly injured, too, having broken bones in both legs. And doctors had said he’d have to have a toe amputated. We were both facing months in recovery.

For four weeks, Richard and I underwent physio and were pumped full of pain relief. But our romance bloomed as we bonded over our mutual trauma, and each day in hospital was like a month of dates. Neither of us could move far away from our beds, but we’d spend hours looking out of the window and chatting, sharing stories about our lives.

‘If we can get through this we can get through anything,’ I said when I was discharged from hospital a few weeks before Richard.

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