Joy’s husband of seven years, Jonny, aged 29, was killed in a head-on collision with another car on 24 January 2020. Jonny died instantly from his injuries. The driver of the other car was hurt but survived the crash.

On the day of the crash, Joy woke early to get ready for work. She was a nurse. Not wanting to disturb Jonny due to his own long working hours, she gave him a kiss on the forehead before leaving. Later in the day, Jonny and Joy had a WhatsApp conversation about what colour bin was to go out; this was the last contact she would ever have with her husband.

At about 4:30pm, as Joy was leaving the hospital, she had a call on her phone from a police officer, asking her to come to the station. She was initially worried she had done something wrong, but the officer informed her this was not the case. It was at this point Joy feared the worst. Deep down, she knew that she would never see her husband again. The trauma of this initial call caused Joy to break down, requiring assistance from her work colleagues to help take her back into the hospital.

After a little while, family liaison officers arrived at the hospital where Joy worked and confirmed the news that Jonny had been killed in a road crash.

GORDON Jonny cropped
Jonny, 29, was killed in a head-on collision with another car

The day Jonny’s life was taken was the day my life changed forever. I went to work a wife but came home a 29-year-old widow. Everything was just gone, part of me died too that day. I am sharing my story with Brake to remember my husband, Jonny, and to call on everyone, particularly drivers, to use roads safely.

Since then, Joy has been struggling to come to terms with the trauma of losing her lifelong best friend. The fact he was taken so suddenly has caused Joy immense grief; she did not have the chance to say ‘Goodbye’, or ‘I love you.’ Joy is sharing her story to help others who are going through the same ordeal.

In Jonny’s memory, Joy ran the Belfast Marathon relay, organising teams to help, raise money for Brake. She is incredibly proud of this accomplishment and hopes to raise more money for the charity in the future.