a BRAVE Belper woman has battled back from almost losing a leg to take on her dream job of running a pub.
Heidi Northover has taken over the Black Bull’s Head in Openwoodgate — after being forced to change her career following an accident last July.
And she is celebrating the new venture with an official opening this weekend, Friday, February 4 and Saturday, February 5, with a beer festival and a hog roast.
The legs of the 44-year-old single mother of three were crushed between her car and another vehicle after an accident at a tip in Loscoe.
Her injuries were so bad that she was warned she might have to have her leg amputated.
Heidi, who was born in Belper, said: “I had opened my car boot and was stood there when the other car lost control and went into the back of me.
“I was trapped from behind at the knee.
“I was screaming at him to get off me. I think he panicked.
“It was a very traumatic experience.
The pain was so severe that Heidi passed out before being taken to hospital.
“The leg was totally black and I had a blood clot. I had physio every week.
“It was a life-changing thing.”
Heidi also cannot drive long distances any more, which meant she had to give up her job running her own training company. The work having taken her all over the UK.
“I had to give it up immediately,” said Heidi. “I could not focus on my job.
“I was in hospital for a week and I could not walk. I had to use crutches.
“It took me a while to get back in the car and I can only drive short distances now. I started driving again in November.
“I was sat there after the accident thinking life is too short and I had always wanted to run my own pub.
“I used to work in pubs and I always fancied running one myself.
“The opportunity came up and I decided to go for it.”
Now she has undertaken a refurbishment at the Black Bull’s Head, which serves home-cooked food, and she is running it alongside a manager. She opened the doors before Christmas to get the festive trade and to meet her customers.
“It is about rebuilding my life,” she said. “It has been going well and there has been some local support.
“I enjoy talking to people. I am starting again.”
Heidi said her three children, aged 22, 19 and 14 have been a big help, as have the people who have helped look after her four horses.
“They have all been really good,” stressed Heidi. “And I thank them for that.”
The man who was involved in the accident has been prosecuted for the offence. He received a fine and penalty points on his driving licence.