Mother who survived car crash, learned she was pregnant and recommended abortion turned down advice and had first baby
Natalie broke her neck twice and her back in four places. Doctors didn't know if she would walk and talk againShe was astonished to be told she was four-weeks pregnant when brought out of a coma – she had thought she couldn't have any more childrenGave birth to baby Max earlier this year

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UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 2 October 2012

When car crash victim Natalie Lander came out a coma, she was given news which left her torn between joy and terror.

With her own life still hanging in the balance from a broken back and brain injuries, doctors announced she had been four weeks pregnant at the time of the accident – even though the mother of one believed she was unable to have any more children.

It was still unclear whether she would walk or talk properly again, and doctors recommended she consider a termination.

Natalie with partner Marcus and children Alfie 4, and baby Max

Survivor: Natalie with partner Marcus and children Alfie 4, and baby Max. Doctors didn't know if she would survive a terrible car smash

But Mrs Lander, 31, and husband Marcus
were not willing to give up so easily – and a year on, having amazed
doctors with her progress, she has given birth to a healthy boy named
Max.

Mrs Lander’s car spun out of control on a wet manhole cover as she drove to work in July 2011.

Her back was broken in four places and
her neck in two, and she also sustained a smashed pelvis, damage to her
vocal cords and brain injuries.

She was cut out of the car and
airlifted to hospital, where doctors told her husband, a 37-year-old
civil engineer, that they didn’t know if she would survive.

Enlarge

Natalie in hospital

baby Max

Natalie was told when she was recovering in hospital (left) that she was four weeks pregnant. She went on to have a healthy baby boy called Max (right)

The wrecked car: Natalie broke her back in four places and her neck twice as well as smashing her pelvis

The wrecked car: Natalie broke her back in four places and her neck twice as well as smashing her pelvis

Natalie and Max

Natalie and Max

But she came
out of a coma, and doctors carried out a routine scan to check she was
not pregnant before starting further treatment – and it showed that she
was.

It was all the more surprising because Mrs Lander has Polycistic Ovary Syndrome, which makes it difficult to conceive.

She has a four-year-old son, Alfie,
but thought she couldn’t become pregnant again.

Mrs Lander, from
Walsall, said: ‘When I found out I was pregnant, I was torn between
being overjoyed and terrified.

'I was so worried that Alfie wouldn’t have
a mum who could look after him properly, let alone another baby.

‘The doctors recommended that we could consider terminating the pregnancy, but we wanted to fight for our baby.’

She added: ‘I was terrified that the
accident would somehow have affected my baby.

Natalie was involved in an accident as drove to work in July 2011

Natalie was involved in the horrifying accident as drove to work in July 2011

'I was paralysed down my
left hand side, and could barely speak in more than a whisper because of
the damage to my vocal cords – nobody could tell me how far I would
recover.’

While pregnant, Mrs Lander underwent four months of intensive physiotherapy, which helped her learn how to walk and talk again.

‘I was trying to concentrate on getting myself better, but I was so worried about the little baby growing inside me,’ she said.

‘Medics kept telling me he would be
fine, but I wouldn’t believe it until I held him in my arms.’

Max was
born in March, and after a lot of hard work both mother and baby are
doing well.

Mrs Lander has even gone back to her job in sales a few days
a week.

Doctors are thrilled at their
progress, although they have warned it will take Mrs Lander another year
before she is fully recovered.

But she added: ‘I can’t ever thank them enough for saving my family.’