SHOOTING victim Rachel Williams is on the road to recovery and is rebuilding her life by fundraising in memory of her teenage son, who died weeks after her ordeal.
The Newport mum feared she would die when her estranged husband, Darren Williams, 45, shot her at the Carol Ann Hair Salon in Malpas Road in August last year, before he was found hanging in woods near their Brynglas home.
In a double tragedy the couple’s son, Jack Williams, 16, was found hanging in woods where his dad’s ashes were scattered just weeks later on September 26.
Six months on Mrs Williams is recovering well and has defied doctors who believed she might lose her left leg, which was shattered by shotgun pellets.
Despite being scarred for life after having most of her leg rebuilt following an eight-hour operation at Swansea’s Morriston Hospital, she is able to walk with the aid of a crutch.
The former hairdresser has regained 45 per cent bend movement in her knee and has been discharged from physiotherapy sessions.
She said: “The surgeon showed me photos of my leg on the operating table and there was no bone, just dust.
“They totally rebuilt my knee, I’ve only got the original kneecap.
“We have just got to see what happens, but the surgeon’s words to me were ‘Quit while you’re ahead’. Mrs Williams will attend an annual checkup in August, but says doctors are confident the only other operation she will need is a knee replacement when it eventually wears out.
But despite her steady physical recovery she admits it has been harder to repair the emotional damage left by her son’s death. She said: “It’s just about treating every day as a different day. One day is a good day and one’s a bad day. I was glad to see the back of last year.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is currently investigating the father and son’s deaths.
A serious case review is being undertaken on behalf of the Newport Safeguarding Children Board in relation to Jack’s death.
Birthday fundraiser to benefit charities
TO CELEBRATE her 40th birthday and to mark the start of a more positive year Mrs Williams held a fundraiser in aid of the charities that helped her after the attack.
One beneficiary is Winston’s Wish – an organisation that helps bereaved children – and one which Mrs Williams believes could have helped her son in his time of need.
As a way of thanks the charity will make a donation to a needy child in Jack’s name and Mrs Williams will receive a rose bush to plant in his memory.
Sunday’s event, held at Newport’s Hilton Hotel, raised £2,322 via a charity auction with items donated by Gwent boxing champion Joe Calzaghe, Newport Gwent Dragons and many others.
Money will go to Morriston Hospital, which Mrs Williams credits with saving her leg, as well as the Gwent Bobby Van scheme, which fitted increased security measures in her home when she was released from hospital.