A British woman has been left stranded in a French hospital after a horrific car crash left her paralysed and with such severe brain damage she can only communicate with her family by blinking.

Sarah McNee, 40, was driving through Auvergne in central France, when her BMW Convertible came off the road and ploughed through a brick wall.

Miss McNee, from Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, was airlifted to a hospital where doctors say they are unable to say if she will ever be able to see, speak or move again.  

Horrific: Sarah McNee, 40, from Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, was driving through Auvergne in central France, when she lost control of her car and  ploughed through a brick wall

Horrific: Sarah McNee, 40, from Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, was driving through Auvergne in central France, when she lost control of her car and  ploughed through a brick wall

Horrific: Sarah McNee, 40, from Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, was driving through Auvergne in central France, when she lost control of her car and ploughed through a brick wall



The 40-year-old has been left paralysed and brain-damaged – unable to speak, see or move

Her distraught family have been forced to resort to crowdfunding in order to be able to maintain a constant vigil at the 40-year-old’s hospital bedside.

Her sister Claire McNee said: ‘It’s totally devastated us. I cry every day just thinking about her lying there and the worry of it all.

‘It’s absolutely turned our world upside down. They [the doctors] can’t give you hope when it comes to brain injury.

‘My mum asked if she would ever be able to speak again and they said they couldn’t say.’

Ms McNee had been staying with their mother in Gouttières in Auvergne, when she went for a drive and lost control of her car in October last year. 

Her sister, also from Hoddesdon, said: ‘She lost control of the car which went through a concrete post, a tree and through a brick wall.

‘It flipped, drove up the wall and went on its back. It took them an hour to get her out of the car.

Support: Miss McNee's distraught family have been forced to resort to crowdfunding in order to be able to maintain a constant vigil at her hospital bedside in France

Support: Miss McNee's distraught family have been forced to resort to crowdfunding in order to be able to maintain a constant vigil at her hospital bedside in France

Support: Miss McNee’s distraught family have been forced to resort to crowdfunding in order to be able to maintain a constant vigil at her hospital bedside in France

‘They resuscitated her in the ambulance, then a paramedic came and she got resuscitated again in a helicopter.

‘By 10.30pm that night they were operating on her. She had bleeding on her brain. The stem of her brain has been damaged.

‘She’s also blind in one eye from the impact, and she can only communicate by blinking. They put her in an induced coma for about a month.’

Ms McNee, a former medical representative for GlaxoSmithKline, remains in hospital in Clermont-Ferrand, about one hour from Gouttières.

Her sister Claire added: ‘She still can’t move or talk. She’s having a big operation on Monday to put a permanent valve in, which will help with fluid on the brain.

‘Then hopefully she will start rehabilitation.’

Destroyed:  Miss McNee's black BMW 1 Series Convertible after the crash in October

Destroyed:  Miss McNee's black BMW 1 Series Convertible after the crash in October

Destroyed:  Miss McNee’s black BMW 1 Series Convertible after the crash in October

Claire, along with brother Bradley, their father Barry and mother Gillian, are taking turns to be by Sarah’s bedside in France, as she is not able to be flown home. 

Claire said: ‘We’re just taking it day by day. My mum’s out there at the moment, and my dad, my brother and I are taking turns to go.

‘I would go out there today if I could, but it’s hard because I’m juggling my business.

‘The more we can raise, the more we can be by her side.’

She described her younger sister, who studied physics at King’s College London, as an ‘outgoing’ and ‘intelligent’ woman.

She added: ‘She was very active. She went running every day and also went cycling. She was beautiful.

‘It would be wonderful to see a smile on her face again one day.

‘It will take a year for them to know what she will and won’t be able to do. We just need to take it day by day.’