A MOTHER has told how she saw the aftermath of a near-fatal road accident from a bus window – unaware her own 13-year-old daughter was the victim.
Margaret Bowers saw what she thought was a pile of clothes in the road and thought: “My Olivia has a coat like that.”
“My heart went out to the mother of whoever it was but I just didn’t make the connection that it could be me,” she said.
Minutes later, while Margaret was still on the bus taking her younger daughter to school, she had the call from police that will always haunt her.
“They asked where I was. When I told them they said I should ask to stop the bus and get off. I knew then something terrible had happened.”
Police officers met Margaret on Saxon Street, where Olivia had been crossing the road near the ‘magic roundabout’ at Marlborough Street junction on her way to Stantonbury Campus School on Thursday morning.
Olivia, a Justin Bieber fan, had been chatting on her phone to a friend and was struck by a car, suffering critical head injuries.
“The friend heard a crash, then the line went dead. She was terrified,” said Margaret.
Olivia was taken to Milton Keynes Hospital then transferred to Oxford’s John Radcliffe, where doctors battled to stabilise her.
Her head injuries were so bad she was put in a medically-induced coma and on a ventilator to prevent further brain damage.
Mum-of-six Margaret and Olivia’s dad Richard kept a bedside vigil praying for their daughter to pull through.
But their worst fear was almost realised three days later when the schoolgirl’s conditioned deteriorated.
“Everything was failing. She went into cardiac arrest and they had to resuscitate her,” said Margaret.
“The doctors told us to prepare ourselves.
“They said if she had another arrest they couldn’t resuscitate her again because it would cause too much damage to her brain.”
Miraculously Olivia stabilised, though she is still in a drug-induced coma.
“It could be months before we know what effect the accident had. We’ve been told there will almost certainly be some brain damage but at the moment they do not know how much,” said Margaret, who lives in Oakridge Park.
“We will cope with whatever happens. We’re just so grateful she is alive.”
While the family stays at Olivia’s bedside, talking to her constantly, her Stantonbury classmates are recording messages to play back in a bid to stimulate the brain.
Meanwhile, Margaret is tormenting herself remembering the amount of times she had urged Olivia to use the pedestrian crossing during her 20-minute walk to school.
“The crossing is just over the road from where she was knocked down.
“But she always said it took too long and she took the short cut.
“Then she was chatting on her phone and probably not concentrating on the traffic... It was just a typical teenage thing to do and it almost cost her her life.”