Our GP client Dr Nedah Darabi lost her leg in a collision with an HGV whilst cycling in January 2022. Her husband, Tom Berry, is now exhibiting works of art he created after the crash, helping him to process his emotions and document the impact the incident had on the couple.

Nedah was on her bike at the north side junction of Battersea Bridge when she was injured by a lorry turning left. She was caught under the wheel in what has been described as a near-fatal collision. Nedah was in hospital for a month and still requires further surgery. She is in constant pain and experiences fatigue so can no longer work full time. She and Tom have had to move from the house they loved to more wheelchair-friendly new accommodation.


The Value of a Limb

Processing grief and loss through art

In an interview with the Evening Standard earlier this month, Nedah shared her story of the accident for the first time. The article notes that ‘the pictures are intended to let the couple tell their story on their terms and “not let this be something that happened to us”’.

Nedah says: “I felt really moved seeing them all. It happened to me but it’s also life-changing for Tom. It’s been life-changing for my family. It’s made me reflect on that.”

Tom says of the artwork: “I think it has been a helpful process. It’s not exclusively a tragic story or a story of triumph in adversity. There are feelings of grief and loss. There are also feelings of love and gratitude. Nedah was incredibly lucky on that day as well as incredibly unlucky.”

Stephanie Clarke, partner in the Personal Injury team representing Nedah, commented: “When anyone experiences a life changing injury, the ripples run wide for the injured person, their loved ones and their wider community.

“This exhibition is a powerful statement about the process of helplessness, grief, rehabilitation, love, recovery and acceptance of how lives are changed by trauma. It touches so many people on different emotional levels, and the art and words in One Step At A Time provoked tears and gratitude for the people who attended to view the exhibition. One of the witnesses to the accident, who helped to prevent the driver cause further injuries, attended the opening and was visibly moved by how the art portrayed the feelings thrown up by that fateful day.

“Nedah and Tom have been supported in their journey by such a fantastic network of friends, family and professionals for which they are both immensely appreciative.”


The Price of Justice

London Cycling Campaign

Since the crash, Nedah has become a Trustee of London Cycling Campaign, an organisation campaigning to make cycling in London safer and more enjoyable for everyone. She was inspired to do so after seeing another cyclist killed at the same junction by Battersea Bridge, which is notorious for pedestrians and cyclists. She says this has helped her to channel her anger into something more positive.

Nedah recently spoke at the National Major Trauma Nursing Group Conference about her experience going from clinician to patient following her injury.

One Step At A Time is open at Lewisham Arthouse from 21 March to 1 April between 10am and 6pm daily. The exhibition has received media coverage including in BBC News.



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