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Old 01-December-2003, 17:17
seaviewuk
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Unhappy Tragedy beyond belief

Dream of dying bride shattered on way to church
By Laura Peek



A BRIDE dying of cancer who decided to fulfil her wedding day dream lost both her legs when her dress got caught in the three-wheel motorcycle she was riding to the church.
Dawn Auty, 42, a nurse, decided to marry her boyfriend, Stephen Flood, after doctors told her she might not have long to live. The groom was waiting at the altar when the accident happened yards from the church.



Miss Auty had always dreamt of roaring up to the church on the back of a friend’s three-wheel motorbike, which is customised with painted flames down the side and a red devil on the back. Anxious relatives urged her to take a taxi on the day of the wedding because the weather was bad but she was determined to live out her dream.

Despite storm-force squalls, she took her place on the red leather seat of the bike, which was driven by a friend. As they drove towards the church in Blackpool the wind blew her dress underneath the bike, where it got caught up.

Miss Auty’s legs were almost completely severed, one above the knee and one below the knee, when she was dragged under the motorcycle as it approached the Central Methodist Church.

Relatives who were following by car desperately tried to pull her clear but paramedics had to amputate both legs to save Miss Auty’s life.

A spokesman for Lancashire Ambulance Service said: “When the first paramedic crew arrived, the lady’s legs were hanging by a thread. The doctors then came from Blackpool Victoria Hospital and gave her blanket pain relief and cut the skin which was holding the legs in place.”

Mr Flood, a 36-year-old computer programmer, was waiting at the altar when a bridesmaid rushed down the aisle and told him what had happened. He sprinted from the church and watched as paramedics worked.

His brother, David, who was the best man, said: “Dawn was not a Hell’s Angel or anything like that but she loved motorbikes. It was a friend’s bike and she just loved it.

“We tried to change her mind and go in a taxi to miss the wind and rain but she refused. It was what she wanted and it was her big day.

“She has been very ill with cancer, which has spread through, and we do not know how long she has got left.

That is why she wanted to fulfil her dream and get married to Stephen in church. It was such a precious, precious time for her.”

Miss Auty was last night said to be in a stable condition.

The wedding ceremony may go ahead under a special licence at the hospital when Miss Auty is well enough.

The vicar who was to have married the couple, the Rev Barbara Duchars, said: “We are praying that Dawn pulls through. Stephen has been at her side throughout.

“When the bride was a few minutes late, we thought she might have got stuck in traffic. The people in the church waiting for the wedding were wondering what had happened.

“When sirens started to converge on the area around the church we began to realise something was wrong. Then, one of the bridesmaids rushed down the aisle and told us what had happened.

“She said: ‘There isn’t going to be any wedding. There’s been an accident. It’s awful.’ She was in tears. Then Stephen ran off. It was virtually at the back door of the church. I stayed behind to try to calm down the wedding guests. We gave them cups of tea and about 30 minutes later we were told Dawn had been taken to hospital.

“I have known the couple for about three months. They are a delightful couple and Dawn was determined to be different and ride to church on the bike.”

The couple have four children between them from previous relationships.

Police traffic officers took the bike away after the accident on Saturday and will this week examine it for defects, but a spokesman for Lancashire Police said that their initial investigation suggested that it had been “an appalling and terrible accident”.
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  #2  
Old 01-December-2003, 17:27
kdee
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Awful...saw it yesterday. It is the most horrific accident. Didn't knpw she was dying of cancer as well though.
God...it is just incredibly sad
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Old 01-December-2003, 19:26
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Just horrific......

How do we reconcile this with the concept of a compassionate and caring omnipotent God!!!
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Old 01-December-2003, 20:04
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How do we reconcile this with the concept of a compassionate and caring omnipotent God!!!
Do you need to reconcile it? She already knew she had terminal cancer. She also refuses chemo. On that basis, she took a risk, which many of us who feel like we have longer to live than her probably wouldn't take.

It seems that her bridal gown got snagged in moving parts. I don't know much about motorcycle safety - but I do know that you're supposed to wear a crash helmet. So I guess there are other safety regulations about what you wear on a bike.
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Old 01-December-2003, 20:17
Stormy
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Seems like some really bad decisions were made here, and motorcycle safety doesn't seem to have been a consideration. Apparently she was riding with both her legs on one side, while the driver was straddling the seat, and holding her. I havn't seen mention wheither or not she was wearing a helmet. If she had to ride to the church on a bike, she should have just changed into her dress at the church. No one was outside to see her arrive on the bike anyway. Been having similar thoughts Squidgy. If one refuses treatment for cancer, it does become terminal. There are few types of cancer that are untreatable these days. It's not been reported what type she has. If it were untreatable, she wouldnt have needed to refuse a treatment that wasnt' even an option to begin with.

I wonder if we will be hearing that the driver will be cited on driving with reckless endangerment.
Guardian

edit, I should say, that I had an Aunt who died from a treatable form of breast cancer, because she refused treatment. She didn't want to lose her hair. Her oldest daughter developed breast cancer a few years later, and is a breast cancer surviver, who is thankful she received treatment, but still resents that her mother refused to believe that she could survive. I always thought it was very selfish of my Aunt to refuse treatment, which by all doctor's reports, would have removed all traces of cancer. So when I hear of someone who refuses treatment, I can't help but think of my Aunt.

Last edited by Tebs; 01-December-2003 at 20:24.
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Old 01-December-2003, 20:25
seaviewuk
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OK, maybe she wasn't obeying all the road traffic laws, but can't we at least feel some sympathy for the poor woman?
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Old 01-December-2003, 20:29
Stormy
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I have loads of sympathy for her,, it's terrible that so many things have happened to her,, but I think that the real tragidy is how preventable this was. It is a high price she paid for a bad decision. Hopefully her luck will change.

SV, ridding sidesaddle on a motorbike, while wearing a wedding gown? This isn't a traffic law, it was just plain dangerous. Someone should have stopped her
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Old 01-December-2003, 20:39
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Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I would blame her. I agree, it's a tragedy. The last thing the family want to hear right now is that it might have been an avoidable tragedy. But I still like to think we can learn something from it, so it doesn't happen to anyone else. Including the bit about cancer prevention and treatment.
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Old 01-December-2003, 20:44
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exactly.
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Old 01-December-2003, 20:52
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by squidgy
Do you need to reconcile it? She already knew she had terminal cancer. She also refuses chemo
I was not aware when I posted that she had refused chemo

Just thought she was getting a double whammy.
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Old 01-December-2003, 21:02
seaviewuk
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Refused chemo??

Where does it state that?
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Old 01-December-2003, 21:17
Stormy
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Refused chemotherapy

Mr Furness said Ms Auty's natural father died two months ago and her mother about two years ago.

He added: "She used to work but had to give up because of the cancer, which they say is terminal.

"She won't have chemotherapy treatment for it because she has been a nurse and she knows what it does to people.

"It has been a rough couple of years for her and she doesn't deserve this. No one deserves this."
BBC

And I agree with the last statement,, she doesn't deserve this. It's all very sad
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Old 01-December-2003, 21:22
seaviewuk
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Thanks Tebs
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Old 04-December-2003, 16:48
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Crikey! Some are being a bit harsh with their judgements about people's decisions about being 'treated' for cancer.

So called treatment is sometimes only palliative, meaning that it is simply done to prolong life. It isn't expected to cure it or put it into remission, it just makes the person live longer. Then the person has to weigh up whether they want to live a shorter time free from 'treatment' with its gruelling side effects, or for a longer time (sometimes only a matter of weeks or a few months longer) with all the nausea, diarrhoea etc etc that can come with 'treatment'.

This woman had been a nurse so will have known what her prognosis was and has simply decided to take the shorter route. Don't knock it guys.

Ann
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Old 04-December-2003, 17:39
Stormy
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I will consider my self chastised for expressing my honest opinion, since it may have come across as 'a bit harsh',, but I still am of the opinion that if medical treatment is offered, unless they tell you that there is a 100% chance of failure, it's foolish to opt out.
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Old 04-December-2003, 17:51
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I agree with Ann here
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Old 04-December-2003, 18:27
Stormy
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I am not looking for anyone to agree with me. I wish I could just go along with the flow, as I know my opinion isn't wanted, or popular, but I can't and won't be a hypocrit. Wouldn't life be easier if everyone agreed all the time on every subject?

We base our opinions on our own peronal expirences. I saw part of my family ripped apart because my Aunt refused chemo treatment, when she was told over and again that her cancer was treatable. One of my cousins was a nurse at the time, and even she couldn't convince her. I have my opinions based on how such a situation touched my life. It wont' change.
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Old 04-December-2003, 18:44
deezel
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.........as I know my opinion isn't wanted,...........
The fact that opinions differ does reflect our different experiences and what we make of them. Its also true that these opinions can and sometimes do change subject to further experiences.

However, if I disagree with an opinion it doesn't mean I do not want to hear an alternative.
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Old 04-December-2003, 21:14
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A serious post from me for a change, I am not seeking sympathy or anything like that, but this is 100% correct I would not joke about this.

18 months ago I was diagnosed as having kidney and bladder cancer, during that time I have had two operations for the bladder cancer and one operation losing my left kidney. Cystoscopy in November show the bladder cancer has returned (after having a clear in May)

I am back in hospital on the 9th December for another bladder operation, the urologist tells me he also wants me to have 6 weeks chemotherapy after the op. I am not looking forward to either the op. or the chemotherapy. BUT I feel I do not have the luxury of having the option (well ok I have) to refuse either, as I owe it to my family to follow treatment in any way the medics decide. NOW if I was single it might be a different matter.

Only my opinion but from the "horses mouth" as it were.
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Old 05-December-2003, 01:07
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Hi Appuleius, Just to wish you good luck for Tuesday, be strong.


To Seaview my appologies for not posting earlier, I just could not find the words to express my sadness at this tragic accident.
and to be honest I still can't. Life had allready dealt her a bitter blow, yet for that to happen on the one day when she could forget about her problem if only for a short while, is unbelievable.

My wishes go out to her and her future husband.

Last edited by merlin; 07-December-2003 at 00:43.
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Old 05-December-2003, 17:52
squidgy
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I'm just trying to understand the bride's way of thinking. I don't wish to sound harsh, but I can't help thinking that the wedding's a bit of a sham. She knows she probably doesn't have long to live - which means, the marriage won't last long either. I doubt she's going to have any more children under this marriage - but if she does, she's unlikely to live long enough to see them grow up.

I take Ann's point - but the chemo she refused might have prolonged her life. She took a very big risk by riding on that trike in a bridal gown, without the proper safety attire. The family felt like they needed to justify that risk to the press, by citing the cancer - why? Would we have cared if they hadn't mentioned it? Are they trying to cover something up? Perhaps these are signs of a pattern of self-destructive behaviour.

So - why exactly did she refuse chemo anyway? Because she doesn't want to lose her hair. Very well - she hasn't lost her hair - but she has lost her legs.

Okay - I know that sounds judgemental. But I don't intend to pass judgement on the bride - after all, she could just be a victim of an unfortunate combination of circumstances that go far beyond the motoring accident and the cancer. I'll try to explain.

I know a few people who are HIV positive. They feel like they don't have long to live. Some of them can be a bit self-destructive, with drink, drugs, and risk-taking. Not sure why, but I guess it's because they think their illness is their fault.

I think that whether it really is their fault or not is beside the point. You can't just give up on life because you think you've made a mistake, and I think it's a shame when people do.

Perhaps the same thing is true of this bride - she feels as though it was a mistake to refuse chemo. Or perhaps she feels as though she did something to cause the cancer in the first place. Whatever it is, perhaps she's letting it get to her a bit too much.

I could be totally wrong. But if it's true, then I think that's very sad.

Why does the groom want to marry someone who's likely to die within the next year or two anyway? Does he really love her? Or is there an inheritance at stake? I sincerely hope that the bride's existing children don't get cut out of the deal. That's why I think the wedding is a sham.

Perhaps the accident was the bride's way of drawing media attention to the issue, and say "hey look everyone, there's dodgy stuff going on here, and I need help to deal with it." If she didn't think it consciously, then maybe she thought it subconsciously.

But maybe I'm totally off the mark.
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Old 05-December-2003, 18:18
kdee
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Originally posted by squidgy

But maybe I'm totally off the mark.
Thank God there is always the black dot on the white background for you to see Squidgy.

I think it was the words "But I don't intend to pass judgement on the bride" that made me once and for all realise this.

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Old 05-December-2003, 18:30
squidgy
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I knew there was something bothering me about this one - why is Dawn Auty not still married to the father of her existing children? Are they all grown up - and if not, does she have custody of them?

Admittedly I think SV's headline of "tragedy beyond belief" has sparked me off on this one. When someone says something is a tragedy beyond belief, it immediately makes me think - I bet it's not - because I'm worried that a disaster will happen if people think it is.

For example, collapsing world trade centers have a nasty habit of causing wars. I don't like it when that happens. But I sure wouldn't want to end up in Dawn Auty's circumstances either.

If SV had titled it "omg" or "tragedy" or "tribute", I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought. I can see that this one clearly isn't going to cause any wars.
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Old 06-December-2003, 14:23
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Having followed this thread my only comment was to agree with Ann. She said more or less what I thought.

I think its so hard to generalise.

I don't think there is a right or a wrong attitude either.

Each case is individual and @ the end of the day you must respect and accept an individuals choice.

Providing all the known options of any particular treatment or lack of are presented to the patient in a caring but unemotional manner then any other pressure is unfair imho.

Ultimately it must remain the individuals choice and that should be respected.

App, Ive had a good thought for you. Stay strong
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Old 06-December-2003, 17:32
Stormy
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Been busy with packing, and wanted to pop in just to say, that in the end, everyone should be able to make whatever choice they feel is right for them.

App,, I will keep you in my thoughts, you are an inspiration. What you said, is how I would feel as well. Take care.
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Old 07-December-2003, 00:53
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At the end of the day this thread is not about whether the right decisions had been made, it is about a young lady with a seriouse problem, being dealt a nasty blow on what should have been a happy day.

Let us all hope that the mistakes we make in life do not have such a nasty outcome .
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Old 07-December-2003, 00:59
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Originally posted by squidgy
But maybe I'm totally off the mark.
Yup!

Ann
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Old 07-December-2003, 15:00
squidgy
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At the end of the day this thread is not about whether the right decisions had been made, it is about a young lady with a seriouse problem, being dealt a nasty blow on what should have been a happy day.

Let us all hope that the mistakes we make in life do not have such a nasty outcome .
Very true. If she and the father of her children hadn't split, she wouldn't have been marrying the second time. So she wouldn't have been wearing the bridal gown or riding a bike on that day, and the accident wouldn't have happened. I think that's the biggest tragedy of it all.
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Old 05-January-2004, 22:41
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"The Mail On Sunday" - January 4, 2004


QUOTE:

"The bride who lost her legs in a horrific wedding day accident has reunited with her fiance after her best friend's sudden death.

Last week The Mail On Sunday reported how Mr Flood, 33, was ordered out of Dawn's home in Blackpool ,LancaShire, when he tipped vodka over her head and smashed a bottle against the living room wall.
He spent the night in a police cell and said that their relationship was over. But now the couple are back together.
Dawn, 43, a former nurse, said:

"Having Stephen back is the best New Year present I could wish for.
We had an awful row when things became too difficult for us. it all became too much. But I have forgiven him, simply because I love him."

In the row with her fiance, Dawn said she had been tipped over in her wheelchair and covered with olive oil, ketchup and Christmas pudding.
Mr Flood claimed Dawn had lied to him by saying that she had cancer.
She said she beleived she suffered from the disease after finding lumps in her breast, but was given the all-clear."
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Old 05-January-2004, 23:42
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Stupid woman!
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