One of the things I’ve always thought of as a journalist is how quickly we move from one subject to another in our work, from one major story to another yesterday’s incidents, yesterday’s disasters are soon relegated to the file of things past, always recalled when the occasion demands, but in the main gone from the active mind.
Pam Warren’s book From Behind the Mask about the Paddington Rail Crash and how it dramatically changed her life is a reminder to us all that there are some things we should never forget. She will never be afforded the luxury of consigning the accident entirely to the past. Warren recalls with touching detail the first anxious moments when it was obvious that something had gone terribly wrong. Approaching Paddington station with only the thought of having a last cigarette before boarding the train, the carriage she was sitting in ‘ jerked violently. Extremely violently. The jerking immediately gave way to shuddering and the sound of screeching metal -on metal brakes. “
That was only the beginning of the nightmare. Pam Warren suffered terrible burns to her body and to her face and on recovery was given a plastic mask to make up for what had been a beautiful face. That mask was never able to hide the person Pam Warren is.
With great warmth and enormous dignity, Pam Warren writes about her early life, which was not without its family dysfunctions and complications, relationships which didn’t always work out the way she intended and then boldest of all how doctors and surgeons helped to restore her traumatised body and how she bravely and with exemplary courage sought to rebuild her life.
This is an unforgettable account of an unforgettable crash. Pam Warren brings humanity to a bitter, life changing experience.
Sir Trevor McDonald