A YOUNG schoolteacher who had a miraculous escape after being crushed by a truck in Italy is on the road to recovery with the help of a Facebook fund-raising campaign.
Mary Strutt (21), whose parents Stephen and Liselotte live in Strathmiglo, is learning to walk again after being caught beneath the massive wheels of the lorry, which tried to overtake her on a sharp bend as she cycled to work near Milan on May 10.
She suffered extensive injuries as a result of the horrific incident and even lost an ear, which was successfully re-attached.
She needed several blood transfusions and spent a month in hospital - but confounded everyone around her by living to tell the tale.
Now Mary, who teaches at the Royal Acore school, is unable to work and needs to raise almost £7000 to pay vital healthcare and dental costs, as she won’t receive any financial assistance from the Italian government.
Her 24-year-old sister Suzanna - one of the Strutts’ nine daughters - came up with idea of the Facebook appeal in the hope that friends will rally round to help.
So far around £1500 has been raised, mostly by friends and family, and Mary has become something of a media celebrity as the story of her amazing brush with death has spread throughout Italy and the UK.
Her fund could even soon receive a welcome boost in the form of a fee from a national women’s magazine eager to tell her incredible tale.
“By rights Mary shouldn’t be alive,” said her dad Stephen, a musician and voluntary worker.
“Even the doctors thought it was a miracle that she survived, but to see how well she is recovering is wonderful.
“However it’s going to be a long haul and she will need a lot of help, especially since her fiance Daniell has had to give up work to care for her.
“We want to raise around £7000 as quickly as possible, as Mary needs immediate therapy to re-learn to walk as she is currently in a wheelchair.”
Stephen, a former missionary, and Danish-born Liselotte have 11 children in all, ranging from 33 to 13, and the youngest three still live at home with them in Strathmiglo.
“We obviously wanted to see Mary as soon as possible after her accident as we didn’t think she’d make it,” said Stephen.
“We didn’t have the means to get over to Italy, but the Mary Leishman Foundation – which I knew of through my voluntary work – donated our air tickets.
“Gestures like that make such a huge difference when people are facing difficulties and we hope that people will back the Facebook appeal and help us help our beautiful daughter.”
To find out how to donate, search for ‘Mary’s Road to Recovery’ in Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org