Grace Havard, a 21-year-old student from Chertsey, is running the London Marathon on Sunday (24th April) – just two years after sustaining life-threatening injuries in a road traffic accident.

Grace suffered 28 broken bones, a punctured lung, a split liver, her spleen was bleeding and kidneys failing. After the collision she was rushed to the major trauma centre at St George’s Hospital. Her family was told “not to hold out much hope” of her survival. Now she wants to give something back to the teams that saved her life.

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Grace spent one month in an induced coma and two further months on a trauma orthopedic ward at St George’s. Her muscles deteriorated significantly as a result of not being able to bear weight while metal rods were fitted to her pelvis.

Grace spent the following two months in and out of hospital before being discharged to Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, for rehabilitation. Being the first trauma patient in a ward mainly made up of amputees made Grace realise how lucky she was to still have use of her legs.

She said: “I could walk with a stick, but not very far – only about 200 yards. I was asked what my goals were, which were not to have to use a wheelchair and to not have a limp. I completed both of those in a couple of days.”

Grace’s physiotherapist, Ben Bowling, saw she had the potential and determination to push herself further and they came up with the goal of running 5km.

She achieved this quickly, then decided to book a place on a 10km run in April 2015 to mark the anniversary of the day that she survived, before taking part in the Marlow to Windsor and the Kingston Thames half marathons.

She now plans to take on the full 26.3 miles at 2016’s London Marathon, raising money for St George’s Hospital Charity.
Grace said: “I know I will finish, whether I walk, run, hop or roly-poly.

“St George’s got me running when I didn’t know whether I would walk properly again – they have been so supportive and I am still receiving treatment now. If the money I raise helps give somebody else the same chance or give them hope, I have done what I set out to do”.

Alex Trompeter, consultant orthopaedic trauma surgeon at St George’s, said: “I remember the day well when Grace arrived at St George’s. She required emergency surgery within minutes of arriving and we were concerned she would not survive. The excellent team work from all the staff at St George’s and the speed at which she arrived and was treated certainly made a difference. However, it is testimony to Grace’s strength, determination and unbelievably positive attitude that she has done so well.”

Noel Cramer, director of fundraising and marketing at St George’s Hospital Charity, said: “Grace is a true inspiration to everyone that hears about her London Marathon fundraising efforts to support St George’s Hospital Charity. We are very thankful for her enthusiasm to support the work of the charity that, in turn, helps many more patients by providing even more equipment and support for patients and staff.”

To sponsor Grace, please visit or contact St George’s Hospital Charity’s fundraising office on 020 8725 4522 and quote ‘Grace Havard’.

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