A schoolgirl suffered from a brain injury and broke 15 bones in her skull - after she was knocked over by a zorbing ball while on a family holiday.
Lily-Mae West, eight, was at a caravan park when a football zorb ball knocked her face-first into the concrete floor. The youngster sustained a brain injury and broke 15 bones in her skull, including both her eye sockets, her eyebrows and the roof of her mouth.
Lily-Mae's mum Katie, age 32, described it as a “freak accident” which “didn't seem real”. She added: "It happened so fast. When she was in hospital I was terrified. It felt like I was watching what was happening from a distance.”
Lily-Mae was initially treated at Scarborough Hospital after the incident, which occurred in February, but was then taken to Leeds General Infirmary. She stayed in hospital for a week to receive treatment, although doctors did find that the schoolgirl's brain injury isn't severe.
Katie said: “I remember when they put her to sleep, she’d occasionally wake up, frightened and scared, and would grab the tubes. She had tears running down her face. It was awful. As a parent you never imagine anything like this happening. She was badly bruised, with ‘Panda eyes’, and some fluid had leaked from the brain.”
Despite Lily Mae’s brain injury thankfully not being severe, her mother says she has noticed changes in her behaviour in the months since the accident. The special needs teacher said: "She gets upset. She’s not as confident as she used to be."
“The support and care we have received has been wonderful”
Katie, of Wakefield, West Yorkshire, received support from charity Day One Trauma Support, who give patients and families support after major trauma. She has praised the charity, saying she and her husband Matthew “couldn't have done it on our own.”
The mum-of-two said: "Day One not only supported my little girl, but they have also supported my whole family. The support and care we have received has been wonderful. I had to leave my old job to spend more time looking after Lily-Mae. Day One gave me financial advice about grants and benefits to help take the pressure off.”
Now saying she “feels good and better”, Lily-Mae has decided she wants to raise money for Day One Trauma Support. To do so, she will be selling homemade buns and lemonade outside her grandma’s house today (Friday 1 September) and has also set up a Go Fund Me page so that people can donate to her.
Lily-Mae added: “I felt upset when I was in hospital as it was scary. When I couldn’t see, my dad read me books on the hospital ward which made me happy. That’s why I want to do something to help other children and Day One that was there for my mum and dad."
Marianne Wadsworth, Lily-Mae's caseworker at the charity, said the youngsters' fundraising will mean they can “be there for even more people”. She added: "It’s amazing to see the recovery Lily-Mae has made thanks to the fantastic care from the trauma teams in Leeds.
“We’re glad we were able to support her and her family, so they weren’t on their own during this incredibly difficult time. We believe nobody should be left to rebuild their life on their own following a catastrophic injury.”
Visit Lily Mae’s GoFundMe page to donate.