The lowest moment for Grace Spence Green was “when doctors told her she would not be able to walk again”, says Emine Saner in The Guardian. In 2018, aged 22, the trainee doctor was walking through a London shopping centre when she was crushed by a falling man who had vaulted over a third-floor barrier. She needed an eight-hour operation on her spinal cord and fractured neck. It was surreal, she says, to wake up “when I didn’t think I was asleep”.
Climbing was her biggest passion. She was preparing to climb El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park, and was two years from qualifying as a junior doctor. Curiously, though, “there was never any anger”. The judge at the falling man’s trial attributed his behaviour to the consumption of cannabis. He escaped without injury, but spent four years in jail. Yet knowing that she saved his life, “or that someone else he could have landed on – a child, for instance – might not have survived”, helped Spence Green come to terms with what had happened.