A BIKER and her husband have paid tribute to those who helped her recover from a horror crash.

Jilly Elston, of Totland Bay, came off her beloved Harley Davidson Fat Boy in March 2019 and sustained multiple life-changing injuries.

She was left fighting for her life and spent months in hospital recovering.

Jilly, who is retired, was well-known for riding her motorbike, named Skully, around the country lanes and coastal roads of the Island.

She bought the bike in 2001, and went on to clock up more than 115,000 miles, covering it in distinctive chromed skull accessories and with a skull paint job on the tank and rear fender.

She was out riding with husband John on the fateful afternoon, coming back from a ride on the mainland with biker friends, on their way through the New Forest to catch the ferry at Lymington.

Jilly was involved in a collision with a car that left her with multiple fractures in her femur, hip, spine, shoulder, arm, multiple ribs and hand. Both her lungs had collapsed.

Jilly was taken by ambulance to the Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital, where she had a six-hour operation to save and pin her leg, and a further operation to pin her arm.

John said: "Jilly was in intensive care for two weeks. She has no recollection at all of the accident or her time in intensive care."

After two weeks Jilly was moved to the major trauma unit where she spent another month on her back, unable to move and in considerable pain.

After six weeks she was moved to St Mary's Hospital where she spent a further six weeks, and was eventually able to walk slowly, with the aid of a frame.

She then spent seven weeks at Springfields Nursing Home in Shanklin, having physio and learning to move again.

John said his wife has been described as a legend in the biking world and she was always determined to recover and eventually get back on the road.

He said: "We would like to say a huge thank you to all who have cared for Jilly in Southampton, St Mary's Hospital and Springfield. We could not have received better or more dedicated treatment for her.

"Also thanks to Lesley her physio, the wonderful Wightlink staff for their help and support, and all our biking and non-biking friends on the Island and mainland.

"Jilly knows she is lucky to have survived such an horrendous accident, but she is looking forward to the future and is planning to buy another bike.

"Still unable to walk unaided nearly a year later, she is only using crutches now, but she is full of positivity and determination and she will be out there before long — be very sure of that."

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