Beautiful love story of crash victim who met his fiancée in hospital
A young man who was left ‘minutes from death’ in a horror crash that killed his pal is now engaged to a woman he met while in hospital.
Joshua Deguara was badly injured in a fatal smash caused by two drivers who pursued a woman through the streets of Cardiff, Wales, in August 2016.
Motorist Sophie Taylor, 22, died when her car spun into a building in the Adamsdown area of the city following the chase, Wales Online reports.
Joshua, who was her passenger, was left with brain damage, multiple shattered bones, major organ failure and a severed main artery after the crash.
He spent a prolonged period in hospital – and it was while in Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales that he first met his now-fiancee Kirstie Jones, 21.
While the pair knew one another before the crash and had been chatting they didn’t actually meet until he was being treated for his extensive injuries.
They are now engaged but haven’t yet set a date for getting married
The smash occurred in the early hours of August 22, 2016,
Drivers Michael Wheeler, whose Vauxhall Corsa struck Sophie’s BMW One Series causing it to spin, and his former partner Melissa Pesticcio were jailed for a total of 14 years for causing Sophie’s death and Joshua’s injuries by driving dangerously.
CCTV footage captured Sophie’s black BMW, in which Joshua was a passenger, being pursued by Pesticcio (in the white BMW) and Wheeler (in the black Corsa)
Football fan Joshua, now 23, was left with life-changing injuries as a result of the crash and has recently had his left leg amputated through the knee.
Kirstie, a retail assistant from Newport , said: “We met when he was in hospital.
“We were talking before the accident and then I went to meet him when he was in hospital.
“I know it’s not the usual way you meet someone.”
The couple got engaged back in December and are now looking forward to spending their lives together.
Joshua said: “I proposed on New Year’s Eve.
“I couldn’t really get down on one knee. We just went for a drive and I asked her.”
Joshua, who lives in Llanedeyrn , Cardiff, said he hoped to be able to return to work at some stage as the couple plan their future.
“I want to be able to live like I used to live as well as I can,” he said.
“I want to be able to go out with my friends and family.
“I want to be able to go on holidays with Kirstie – and the same with my family.
“I want to be able to go for a walk with Kirstie and hold her hand.
Joshua said it was Kirstie, and his family, who help to pick him up when he has bad days as he continues to recover.
Part of his ongoing treatment included him having his left leg amputated in January.
The crash left him being unable to use his foot and he had no feeling below his knee.
He said the operation went “as well as it could have gone” and he is now waiting to have a prosthetic leg fitted.
Joshua had his first physiotherapy appointment on Wednesday where he was able to discuss plans for the future.
He said: “I just want to get my life back on track.
“I’m stuck at the moment.
“It was my choice to have the amputation – my leg was not worth having.
“It was quite a big choice but I wanted to be able to do things with my friends and family.
“They have to do everything for me.”
Prior to that he’d needed surgery to enable him to go to the toilet normally again.
Joshua, who had been about to start a job at Tesco at the time of the crash, said: “I had an operation to repair my urethra in July.
“This means I don’t need a catheter now – I can urinate on my own.
“It is better but I still have some problems.”
The crash left Joshua with bruising, swelling and bleeding on the brain while there was some brain damage which has left him prone to mood swings.
His pelvis, wh
ich was shattered at the front and back, had to be reconstructed with three metal pins and a cage to keep it all together.
His femur was broken – severing the main artery in his leg – and several broken ribs also left him with a punctured lung.
His kidneys also started to fail because of toxins in his blood.
“It has been better since having the operation as I used to get infections all the time,” added Joshua.
“The catheter would block.
“My anxiety is better now because back then I was always waiting for it to block again.
“I wouldn’t drink properly. I knew it wasn’t good not to drink – but it was psychological.
“I knew if I did not drink I would not be in more pain.”
Joshua’s mother, Leanne Marshall, said he realises how lucky he was to survive.
Ms Marshall said: “If emergency services had reached him 10 minutes later they would not have been able to save him.
“The way he sees it he was given a second chance.
“It’s been a long road but we are now going to try and get back to normal.
“We will make the best of it.”
When Wheeler and Pesticcio were jailed at Cardiff Crown Court last year Judge Thomas Crowther QC said they were responsible for the “shattering of two families”.
Wheeler, from Harlech Road, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to causing the death of his ex-girlfriend Sophie and serious injury to Joshua by driving dangerously.
His ex Pesticcio, from Marshfield Road, Cardiff, denied the offences but was convicted by a jury following a two-week trial.
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