Family hail Christmas miracle as much-loved Islington woman comes out of coma

Martine Gardner is 'full throttle on the road to recovery'

Martine Gardner is 'full throttle on the road to recovery' - Credit: Archant

A family have hailed a festive miracle after a much-loved school worker came out her coma in time for Christmas.

Martine Gardner, 43, had been fighting for her life in hospital since being hit by a white van in New North Road, near the junction of Popham Road, Islington, on her way to work in November.

Doctors said she could be unconscious for weeks - and the family had vowed to spend Christmas in hospital - but not only has battling Ms Gardner woken up, two days ago she even started speaking.

Her brother Terry Williams, 38, said: “She is doing amazingly well.

“She has defied all the doctors and consultants and is out of her coma and off her ventilator.

“In the last couple of days she has spoken her first words.”

Separated Ms Gardner, of Southgate Road, Islington, is known as “Mrs Christmas” because of her love of the festive season - her tree is usually up on December 1 and her present shopping is normally finished around the same time.

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Mr Williams said: “It would seem Santa has returned all Martine’s Christmas faith. It’s a miracle.

“She is on a long road to recovery, but at the moment she is on full throttle. Our worst Christmas has just become our best. We’ll have a big dinner together when she gets out of hospital with trees, decorations, the lot.”

The mum of two suffered a fractured skull, spine and pelvis, in the horrifying crash on November 28.

Her 45-strong family had decided to drop their original plans and gather at the Royal London Hospital, where she was being treated, on December 25.

Mr Williams said his sister is well know around the Essex Road area, havin has worked at the New North Academy, in Popham Road, for many years - and even went to school there when it was called Charles Lamb Primary School.

He added the family were “overwhelmed” with message of support.

The van involved in the collision stopped at the scene and the driver, a man aged 35, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and driving whilst unfit.

He has been bailed until March.