An Orpington woman who lost her leg in a traffic accident has told of how she used humour to get over her horrific injury.

Lauren Smith, 31, of Romany Rise, had part of her leg cut off after she was hit by a 32-tonne dumper truck in Worcestershire five years ago.

Lauren said: “It stopped on my right foot and had to reverse off. So, my foot was absolutely crushed.

“I remember everything. My foot was only stuck for a few moments and a crowd gathered and they shouted for him to reverse off me.

“Then I was airlifted to Birmingham Queen Elizabeth Hospital where it was decided they had to amputate later that day.

“At the time you don’t realise how serious it is. When you are stuck on the road and there is a crowd gathering you think ‘I’ve probably just broken it’.

“I was in agonising pain but when it is that bad it comes in waves.”

Doctors at the hospital decided the best thing to do was amputate.

Lauren said: “The nurse the next day adjusted the bed sheets and that’s when I first saw it. It was all bandaged up and it looked like a donor kebab thing in a kebab shop.

“It was just a big lump of meat with no foot on the end and I thought ‘oh my god, it’s gone,’ and that was really horrifying.

“It just looked really abnormal. I didn’t know anybody else with one leg, it wasn’t the norm and I thought ‘this is awful.’

At first Lauren was depressed but she used humour to recover from the traumatic experience.

She said: “I was on the military ward with all the soldiers. Some of them had no arms and no legs and their spirits were so high and they had such a laugh that it sort of cheered me up.

“It’s sort of the British way, you laugh in the face of adversity. If you don’t laugh you cry. I’ve got quite a good sense of humour.

“So, every Halloween I do a theme based around the leg and try and dress up and entertain everybody.”

The other thing that keeps Lauren going is running. At first when she got out of hospital she realised exactly how her amputated leg would affect her life.

“I spent a month in hospital. When I came out and joined friends and family I realised how little things would change. I was never going to look great in a short skirt again.

“I can’t wear high heels. It was stuff like that. I just realised life would never be the same. All in an instant it had been changed.

“But I got a running blade last July and that was a really big step for me. Getting that meant I could start doing a very active sport just like ordinary fit people do.”

Now Lauren is running the Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of Livability to help other disabled people. Her target is £1,500 and her page can be found here.