City woman fights back after losing arm in horror crash

Daniela Radu, the owner of La Denis on Dereham Road, lost her arm in a car crash back in 2019. 

Daniela Radu, the owner of La Denis in Dereham Road, lost her arm in a car crash back in 2019 - Credit: Emily Thomson/Archant

On November 22, 2019, Daniela Radu's life changed forever.

While walking with friend Viorel Petroi near Norwich Showground a driver lost control and ploughed into them.

Both the driver Benjamin Gardiner and Mr Petroi died at the scene. Ms Radu lost her left arm and endured eight life-saving operations.

But she never gave up fighting. And now a life-long dream has come true.  

A new Romanian shop has opened on Dereham road, owned by Daniela Radu (middle)Tunde Kis, Daniela Ra

Owner Daniela Radu (middle) with Tunde Kis and Lorena Chirciu. - Credit: Sonya Duncan/Archant

Despite the painful physical and emotional scars she still endures, the 45-year-old was determined to carry on and now she is celebrating opening her very own business in the city. 

The authentic Romanian food shop, La Denis - named after Miss Radu's son Denis, 24 - recently opened in Dereham Road. 

She said: “It was very difficult. It’s still hard to even think about it. 

A new Romanian shop has opened on Dereham road, owned by Daniela Radu. Byline: Sonya Duncan

A new Romanian shop has opened in Dereham Road, owned by Daniela Radu. - Credit: Sonya Duncan/Archant

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“All of my life I had done physical work. I had four jobs at the time of the crash. 

“When I lost my arm, I was heartbroken. It was a nightmare. I thought I was going to go crazy, not being able to do anything. 

“But my son was also emotionally damaged after what happened. So, I knew needed to be strong for him and God gave me the power to keep going.” 

A new Romanian shop has opened on Dereham road, owned by Daniela Radu (middle)
Tunde Kis, Daniela Ra

A new Romanian shop has opened in Dereham Road, owned by Daniela Radu (middle). Tunde Kis and Lorena Chirciu are also pictured - Credit: Sonya Duncan

When Ms Radu moved from Romania to Norwich just months before the accident she spotted the opportunity to open a shop. 

But her plan had to be put on hold as she spent two and a half months in hospital and many more recovering both physically and mentally.

And even now she is still undergoing physical therapy as well as support for her mental health. 

“I didn’t think I would survive,” she said. “And I have struggled since the accident. I’m still not 100pc but I feel lucky that I have my son and good friends who have supported me. 

“I hope my story will give strength to other people who have been in similar situations.” 

Ms Radu says she is currently trying to improve her English so she can set up a support group within the community for people who have been involved in accidents or are struggling with disabilities. 

A new Romanian shop has opened on Dereham road, owned by Daniela Radu.
Byline: Sonya Duncan

A new Romanian shop has opened in Dereham Road, owned by Daniela Radu. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A new Romanian shop has opened on Dereham road, owned by Daniela Radu. Byline: Sonya Duncan

Products on display at the new Romanian shop