A PREGNANT mother lost her unborn child in a horrific car smash which left her with brain injuries.
Brave Helena Cartlidge, 43, was seven-months pregnant when a lorry crashed into her stationary car during a traffic jam on a motorway in Stoke-on-Trent.
Emergency workers cut Helena free from the mangled wreckage and performed an emergency Caesarean to try and save her baby.
But despite the medics’ valiant efforts the child, named Estella, was stillborn.
Helena, who is mother to a two-year-old son, suffered bleeding on the brain as well as a broken jaw and a fractured hand and foot.
A fundraising appeal has been launched via GoFundMe to help the family with funeral costs.
Speaking with the Sentinel from her hospital bed, Helena praised the emergency services and hospital staff.
She said: “There was a scan photo on the passenger seat of my baby so they knew I was pregnant.
“They worked for 20 minutes trying to revive her and did so much. She must have suffered too much trauma.
“Everyone has just been amazing and it means so much to us.
“I would also like to thank the emergency services and the staff at the hospital.
“They even arranged for models of Estella’s feet and hands to be made that I can keep.
“I was also able to have her in a special cot to allow me to grieve.”
Helena had been shopping when she was involved in the terrifying collision on the A500 on February 13.
Her Vauxhall Astra was sat in heavy traffic when a lorry crashed into her – shoving her car into another vehicle.
And when authorities found Helena’s crumpled wreckage, they feared no one would be alive inside.
The courageous mum, who works as a sales rep for the Sentinel newspaper, revealed she has no memory of the smash.
She said: “I had just nipped out to M&S to get some food and my last memory is leaving there.
“I have been told the traffic was queuing due to an incident on the A50 and I was sat in a queue.”
Helena was in critical condition for five days before being moved to the Royal Stoke Hospital’s acute rehabilitation trauma unit.
She has had two operations on her smashed jaw and doctors have treated her damaged cheekbone.
Her friends and colleagues have helped raise money towards Estella’s burial costs and the GoFundMe account has raised £2,875.
The funds will also help the family, as husband Roger, 47, has given up work to tend to his stricken wife and raise their little boy Benjamin.
Helena said: “My husband still has his wife and my son still has his mum. I am just relieved that Benjamin wasn’t with me at the time.”