The star, who was about to cross the busy thoroughfare when she was impacted by the vehicle, ended up bleeding and unconscious – and vulnerable to other people's lowest impulses - as she fought for her life.
‘The bus flipped me in the air for a couple of feet, I landed on my face and scraped along the ground,’ Madeleine tells Pete Timbs in an extended interview with WHO’s celebrity interview podcast, WHO ARE YOU.
It was then that a thief preyed upon her. Although, thankfully, she was assisted by other onlookers driven by more altruistic motives.
‘I was left in the gutter and someone stole my wallet while I was unconscious, so the paramedics couldn’t ID me,’ Madeleine reveals.
‘And it was actually two sex workers who were working in the vicinity who held me, staunched the bleeding and called an ambulance.’
Thanks to the help she received, Madeleine had a fighting chance at survival – but her battle was far from over, with her skull fractured in three places.
‘Brain fluid was leaking into my mouth,’ Madelaine told Timbs. ‘I had a brain haemorrhage and I busted half of my teeth. I lost half of my eyebrow due to a crush injury from where the bus impacted my face.’
Madeleine was left ‘speaking gibberish’ and dealing with ‘agonising pain’ from the metal plates that were placed in her head.
As she got better and returned to work, she struggled to deal with remembering her dialogue, and looking after herself.
‘My short-term memory was kaput so reading lines became almost impossible,’ she recalls. ‘My motor skills were affected, so I couldn’t feed myself properly.’
But the star fought back against the impact of her injuries – both emotional and physical – beating back the devastating self-doubt that plagued her.
To hear the full story of Madeleine’s recovery in her own words, listen to the WHO ARE YOU podcast – available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all good podcast platforms and apps. See below for details and links.