Winter sports burns victim wins £1 million settlement

Winter sports burns victim wins £1 million settlement

A woman who suffered burns to 96% of her body in a coach crash in France has won a settlement worth more than £1 million.

Catrin Pugh was 19 at the time and returning from a four-month ski season working in the French Alps when the coach she was travelling in crashed, bursting into flames, killing the driver and injuring passengers.

The coach was travelling down a steep mountain road which features 21 hairpin bends near Alpe d'Huez in 2013.

Pugh, from Rossett near Wrexham, was given a one in 1,000 chance of survival, spent three months in a coma and has had 200 operations.

The seven-figure settlement was reached with the owner of the coach firm, the BBC reported.

She said the undisclosed total she received will help pay for ongoing care.

Pugh is believed to be the oldest person to survive such severe burns that ravaged her body from her scalp to the soles of her feet.

When she was pulled from the wreckage, medics gave her little chance of surviving.

She spent eight months at a specialist burns unit in Merseyside, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, had to learn to walk again and still struggles to grip things.

But she said the most devastating blow was losing her sight, with her recently told damage is permanent.

"I remember being on fire. It's a feeling that's very difficult to describe," Pugh said.

"You just feel very numb everywhere and I have since learned that's because it had burned through my nerve endings."

She added: "I thought I was going to die. I remember them asking me where it hurt the most and me screaming 'it hurts everywhere'.

"My eyes didn't get burned, but because I was so ill and nearly lost my life on a number of occasions, it caused my optic nerve to get damaged.

"I have been left with no central vision and that's what you use to see detail. I can't see people's faces.

"I will walk into a bar and I won't be able to see my friends until I'm a foot away from them."

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