A BRITISH woman has defied death after being critically injured in an accident on the eve of last month's Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix.
Doctors at the BDF Hospital have "miraculously" saved the life of Paula Foulds, whose main artery was nearly detached, suffered a torn diaphragm, fractured 12 ribs and a neck vertebra, broke her collar bone and paralysed her vocal cord.
The 45-year-old arrived in Bahrain with her husband Brian, 48, on the eve of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix and was in a taxi when they were hit by a speeding Land Cruiser in Umm Al Hassam.
She was rushed to Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), but was later transferred to the Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Cardiac Centre at the BDF Hospital.
Mr Foulds, a civil servant, escaped unharmed while the taxi driver was discharged from hospital after treatment.
However, he was shocked at the little amount of information gathered by police about the identity of the driver who hit them.
The couple had planned to visit a close friend, Chris Ward, during their stay in the country, but that quickly changed as Ms Foulds spent three weeks in a hospital bed.
"We thought Bahrain hosting the Grand Prix was a good occasion for us to not only visit Chris but also to be part of a sport we love," Mr Foulds told the GDN during a visit to the BDF Hospital before the couple flew back to London on Thursday night.
"Chris was not even in Bahrain when we arrived on April 19 so we made our way to Umm Al Hassam and we were in the process of looking at a map for directions to his house when we were hit.
"Suddenly, there was this loud bang and everything went blank for a moment.
"I saw Paula slumped in the seat folded over on the front. She was groggy and incoherent as well and I knew something was terribly wrong."
Police arrived at the scene within minutes with an ambulance and took the couple to SMC, where doctors recommended an immediate transferral to the cardiac centre for specialised treatment.
"Paula has received excellent care and that is why she is still here," added Mr Foulds.
"She is well on the way to a complete recovery but would still need treatment for some time.
"I believe it is nothing short of a miracle that she is now able to walk and talk. It's been amazing."
Mr Foulds said they would come back to Bahrain soon as his wife did not get the opportunity to experience the country's culture, despite fears by friends that the security situation could escalate.
However, he said news agencies abroad have exaggerated the reality of events on the street, explaining he had not seen any signs of disturbances in the last three weeks.
"All she has seen is the view out of the window but we plan to certainly come back in the future, possibly for next year's Grand Prix," he said. "We were sure we wanted to come and went ahead anyway. The idea was to be with friends as well as watch the race.
"What we had heard before we arrived was clearly an exaggeration."
Ms Foulds, who still had a collar to support her neck and could not speak loudly as her vocal cord was damaged, said she was looking forward to return home.
"I have been so well looked after, it's difficult to describe the feeling. Everyone's been so wonderful. I am so grateful," she said.