CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Inspiring volunteer hospitalised for three years after bus crash set for charity climb

Saba Mirza will scale two flights of steps for first time for Great Ormond Street children's charity

27 September, 2019 — By Tom Foot

Call for donations to support the former teaching assistant at Swiss Cottage School

AN award-winning volunteer who has not left hospital for almost three years after being run over by a bus is preparing to climb two flights of steps for the first time.

Saba Mirza, a teaching assistant at Swiss Cottage School, suffered life-changing injuries from the collision with a 46 bus in November 2016. She was on a zebra crossing at the time, and just yards from her family home.

The 28-year-old – who has devoted her life to volunteering and raising money for children despite her own genetic disorder – spent eight months in a coma.  She told the New Journal this week she wanted to continue fundraising for children despite not being able to return home to her family.

Ms Mirza said: “I really enjoy helping others and want to give back to Great Ormond Street Hospital for the help they gave me many years ago. I am currently in hospital in rehabilitation and am really motivated to achieve all my goals. A goal I am working really hard on is to be able to climb two flights of stairs with the help of my rehab team, which I will do on September 30 [Monday].”

In March 2018, a 55-year-old bus driver was convicted of careless driving at City of London Magistrates’ Court. He was given a fine of £770 and nine penalty points on his licence, after being cleared of the harsher charge of dangerous driving by a jury.

In a response to questions about the case in City Hall, Mayor Sadiq Khan had said that Metroline bus company had conducted a review and “concluded the driver could safely resume his driving duties if he passed an extensive driving test, including hazard perception”.

Ms Mirza, who has Noonan syndrome, which can create facial disfigurements and delay to development of the body, was recognised with an award by the Mayor of Camden at the Town Hall two years before her crash. She was named as one of the “most inspiring volunteers” in Camden, particularly for her work at Swiss Cottage School.

At the ceremony, she said: “Volunteering has changed my life so much. Working with children inspires and motivates me.” The school said of her at the time: “For the past five years she has drawn on her challenging life experiences to support young children facing similar challenges at Swiss Cottage School – the school she herself attended.

Her insight, empathy and patience make a big difference to their lives but she feels she gains even more from them.” Last year, Saba’s family said she may never leave hospital and there is no update on when she might be able to return to her home in Maida Vale.

Her mother Nickie told the New Journal: “As we approach the third anniversary of her road traffic accident, Saba is appealing on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hospital. “In October 2017 from her hospital bed she raised money for Cancer research, as her cousin Mubarak had passed away a year previously from leukaemia, aged 29.  In October and November 2018, she raised funds for Cancer research, again whilst in hospital. We hope you will join us in supporting Saba raise funds for this great hospital.”

To support Saba’s climb visit https://justgiving. com/fundraising/sabaranks

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