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"There was no noise it was a force."

In the first of a new series of interviews with inspiring Oxfam supporters, we meet Sue Greenwood - who lost a leg in the 2005 London bombings. One year later, she took part in our Trailwalker 100km walking challenge.

On 7/7

I wouldn't usually have been travelling at that time, but I was on a course so went in an hour late. It was horrendously busy, so I waited for a few trains to go by and then stayed on my train longer than I sometimes do because I was feeling lazy. At one point a man got on and said to me, 'You're going to have a good day today'. It came up in the inquest that that might have been the bomber.

I remember the explosion. There was no noise. It was a force. I could feel the power. It was a very strange, eerie feeling. I remember waking up on the floor of the train. I remember realising that I'd lost my leg and tying a tourniquet around it. I spoke to a girl who was lying underneath me and held her hand as she was dying.

On the aftermath

The physical side of the injury wasn't really a problem for me. I'm a healthcare worker and just sort of accepted it: I've always had that positivity. But the psychological issues after this kind of injury are ongoing; they don't go away. I didn't realise that at the time. I've never felt sorry for myself, though, by any means. It's really important to carry that positivity. When I'm feeling down, I have a friendly chat with someone, pick myself up and move forward.

On Trailwalker

It was a strange time; I still felt this real need to maintain the lifestyle I had previously - and that was very much the motivation for signing up to Trailwalker, alongside raising money for a cause I really believe in. I completed around 30km of the 100km, which is incredible for a new amputee, but along with elation I felt slight disappointment that I didn't do more. Looking back now, that sounds totally ridiculous.

On travelling by tube

I managed to take the Tube again in 2012. Up until that point I'd stayed away - and it was the only thing I'd ever given in to. I did it as a present for someone who was very important for my recovery and who never gives in to anything; that journey was a gift for him. I've had the ticket framed, alongside a speech by Churchill that begins with words that mean a lot to me: 'Never give in'.

On travelling to Georgia with Oxfam

Following Trailwalker, I was given the chance to visit Georgia to see the clinics and hospitals Oxfam supports, and this cemented the reasons why the organisation is so valuable. It also makes you realise how lucky we are. Many people there weren't able to get even basic treatment, and would never have survived an incident such as the one I went through.

On ageing

I think everybody goes through that sense of getting older and that you can't do as much as you want do. Your body slows down naturally. But I think I'm getting more and more aware of that because of my injury, especially as I've found out I might have arthritis in my other knee.

On remembering 7/7

Every time I hear about another incident in world - a bomb, a natural disaster, whatever it may be, it brings home how vulnerable we are as a species. Anything can happen at any time, and I think it's when I hear about disasters that I think about what happened to me. Every day I wake up and my prosthetic leg is still sitting there by the bed, but my experience is mostly a memory, not something I'm conscious of. When I hear about a disaster or meet another amputee, though, that's when I'm conscious of what did happen to me.

On sharing Oxfam's values

In the UK we see healthcare as a right, but in many countries people are lucky if they ever see a doctor. How can you not agree with a charity putting health facilities in place and encouraging governments and local organisations to take them forward? How can you not think that's brilliant? I care about caring for people and share Oxfam's belief that everyone should have access to healthcare. For me, that's a huge emotional draw.

On healthcare

I used to work in operating theatres, but after what happened I didn't feel physically able to keep doing that, and that was difficult to come to terms with. I was the trauma girl. I enjoyed being part of lifesaving situations. I probably wouldn't be like that now, but it was very much part of who I was at the time.

But you need to be quick, slick and fast in that environment. And it just became a challenge for me and the people around me. One day the cardiac alarm went off and I moved too quickly to get to the crash trolley and fell over. The porter was then trying to help me, rather than the person who had come in for treatment. That was when I realised the time had come to move into another aspect of the health service, so I started working in patient advice and liaison.

I actually really enjoy that too: using my clinical knowledge to understand problems. I've learnt a phenomenal amount. Would I ever go back to work in surgery? I've thought about that a lot lately. Clinical work is always where my heart will be, but I don't know.

I do know, though, that my passion will always be for healthcare. It's an emotional thing for me. And if you tell me that by supporting Oxfam I can help to provide something basic, like mosquito nets, that can have such a massive health impact in terms of reducing incidences of malaria, I believe in that completely. Healthcare is what I'm all about.

We'd like to say a huge thank you to Sue for sharing her experiences and insight with us.

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