A young paralysed woman whose father and sister were killed by a drunk driver has been described as an “inspiration” by the Chief Constable.
Charmaine Daoud has only one good memory of the crash she miraculously survived – the kindness of the off duty police officer who rushed to her aid.
His prompt action not only saved Charmaine’s life, but prompted her to become part of the police force herself.
“I wanted to give something back,” she said.
Today Charmaine, 33, has fulfilled that ambition – and won a Thames Valley Police award for her outstanding achievement.
Paralysed from the neck down, the former fitness instructor volunteers for two and a half days a week at Milton Keynes police station.
Using special splints on her fingers, she types police documents on the computer.
She also represents the police at Bletchley Town Council every Tuesday afternoon, listening to people’s problems and steering them in the right direction for help.
“I enjoy it and it keeps me busy,” she said.
Presenting the five-year long service award, Chief Constable Sara Thornton said: “Charmaine is a really inspiring person and I am proud that she is part of the TVP family.
“I am impressed with the way in which she has responded positively to her situation.”
Ms Thornton also praised Charmaine’s mum Jane, who was driving the family Mercedes at the time of the crash 12 years ago.
Jane still grieves her husband Tony and eldest daughter Sarah-Jane, who was 23. But she devotes herself to helping Charmaine live as independently as possible at her Tattenhoe home.
She said: “Charmaine was 21 at the time and studying sports science at university. There were only two ways you can go after suffering such a tragedy – up or down.
“She’s always been a positive and dynamic girl so she chose to go up. I am more proud of her than words can describe.”
The drunk driver responsible for the car crash, Nnamdi Megwa, was jailed in 2007 – for one year.
It is understood he served just eight months.