It was a Saturday night like any other. My hair was curled and I was sipping on a glass of wine, while doing my make-up.
My brand new dress hung on the front of my wardrobe.
I was excited to squeeze into the £34.99 red number that I’d ordered online from Misguided the week before.
It was early December 2014 and I was getting ready for my mum’s work Christmas party at Leeds football ground.
“I’ll get dropped off in Leeds town centre afterwards,” I said to my friend Jordan.
I pulled back my hair, and slipped on my brand new dress that crammed everything in tightly.
Standing in front of the mirror, I smiled.
I was excited for the night ahead.
“Oh darling you look so pretty,” cooed my protective mum.
We got a taxi to the football ground where we enjoyed the first part of the evening with friends and family.
When the clock struck 12 I got my auntie to drop me into the town centre where I joined my friend Jordan, his brother and his finance.
I had my first vodka and coke in Mojos and didn’t spend a moment away from the dance floor.
It was so hard to shake my stuff in such a skin-tight dress.
“This dress is so tight,” I kept saying to my pals.
At 2.45am, we were ready to leave and head back to Jordan’s.
Although we were tipsy, we weren’t drunk.
We got a cab outside the nightclub at 3.05am and I dropped into the front passenger seat as my three friends crammed into the back.
The chatty driver started the 30 minute journey asking if we’d had a good night.
‘Yes thanks it was great,’ we all replied.
He was a lovely man, who continued to chat as he began to pull out of the road.
What happened next still feels like a dream.
We had no idea what was coming as the driver pulled out of the road to continue onto our destination.
The next thing I knew, the car was hit with what felt like 20 elephants.
A cement mixer had smacked into the driver’s side of the cab.
It all happened so quickly, I barely had time to understand we had been hit.
I remember waking up stuck in my seat.
Feeling uncomfortably tight, I had excruciating pain as the dress hugged my body.
Trying to open my eyes, I was devastated to find I’d gone blind.
The dress felt like a clamp on my body. I have to get out of this car
Stumbling out of the smoking vehicle, I had no idea where my friends were… or if they were even alive.
A young boy grabbed me and tried to calm me down.
“Copy my breathing,” He said, “Slow and deep.”
The next thing I heard was sirens and then I was carefully lifted onto a stretcher.
“Are my friends ok?” I asked the man who was helping me.
“Calm down and concentrate on your own pains,” he replied.
As the ambulance took me to the hospital, I had no clue how my friends were. I kept replaying the past five minutes before the accident over in my head.
My body was in agony, my dress was like a prison upon my frame.
I was rushed into the emergency room, where the nurses began to cut off my beautiful dress. I lay there constantly fearing the worst. Am I going to survive?
Kind nurses tried to reassure me, but the immense pain my body was in made my mind race with doubt and fear.
I was placed in an MRI scanning tube where they looked closer at my injuries.
The accident came back to me in terrifying flashbacks.
As I was brought out of the scan and transferred back to a side room, I waited patiently with my mum now by my side. We both cried and looked at each other with both fear and relief.
Mum was so worried and couldn’t believe this had happened to her little girl.
We waited for what felt like a life-time.
I kept asking about my friends and what had happened to them, but no one had any answers.
I lay in the bed with cuts, bruises and aches all over my body – I dread to think what I looked like.
The night had started with perfect hair, make-up and the £35 dress that I had been so looking forward to wearing.
Finally a doctor came into the room with a nurse and closed the door behind him.
I was filled with nerves as his eyes fell on my bruising and he asked how I was feeling.
“Nervous and in pain,” I responded, forcing a smile.
She began to tell me how lucky I was to survive the crash and although I had broken bones and a fractured pelvis, spine and shoulder – I was relatively ‘ok.’
“You have a broken sternum and several fractures that will see you staying in hospital for a little while.” Said the doctor.
The doctor then turned to me and delivered a statement that will stay with me for the rest of my existence: “That dress saved your life.”
The words replayed in my head and in disbelief I said; “Why?”
He went on to say that the fact the dress was so restrictive and tightly bound to my body, it acted like a splint and held all my bones in place as the cement mixer impacted the taxi.
Had I not been wearing this extremely tight red £34.99 dress, my bones would have most definitely shifted and instantly perforated through my vital organs, killing me.
“My dress saved my life?!” I yelled.
Mum had her hand up to her mouth in shock.
My dress saved my life.
The thought made me shudder as I continued to say the words.
I had selected the body-con garment online and I had tried it on the week before.
Wincing, I shuddered at the thought of what would have happened if I’d bought a different dress.
Later, I was relieved to hear my friends were ok and the driver had only suffered from a neck injury.
I couldn’t believe how lucky we all were.
After being in hospital for five painful days I finally got to go home.
This night will live with me forever and the chilling outfit choice that I made, allows me to share this story.
I will never forget the night a dress saved my life.