Amazing Grace returns to school

The seven-year-old spent 99 days in hospital after massive bleed on her brain. 

Story from Chronicle Live Grace McShane from Northumberland is determined to do everything her classmates can. She spent 99 days in hospital last year when crippling brain injuries left her paralysed on one side of her body. After months of rehabilitation from suffering a massive bleed on her brain, Grace is now able to move around independently. And last term, she rejoined her friends at Malvins Close Primary School. Her dad, Derek said Grace relishes physical challenges “even more than before” since returning to school. He said: “She feels it’s really important to take part in PE and things now, and she never shies away from a challenge. “If anything we can’t get her to slow down – she’s very upbeat and doesn’t get down about her situation. “She doesn’t sit in the corner saying: ‘Why can’t I do that?’ She never gives up.” She remains partially paralysed on one side and has not regained much movement in her arm, but can now walk with the aid of a splint. Derek said: “She has no control in her left ankle so she walks around in her own inimitable fashion. “The progress with her arm has been slower than we’d liked and we may never see much of a change, but she has regular physio to try and encourage her to move it more.” In August last year, Grace, then aged six, returned from a family holiday in Portugal with mum, Sarah, dad, Derek, and sister Cathy, 11. After arriving home, Grace was tearful and complaining of a headache. Sarah put her to bed, thinking she was tired from the journey. In the morning, however, she was unable to rouse Grace and immediately called an ambulance. She was taken to A&E at the new Cramlington hospital where she was reported as drowsy and not using her left side. Medics were forced to incubate Grace and put her on a ventilation machine before she was transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit at the RVI’s Great North Children’s Hospital. A CT scan revealed a large bleed on the brain, which had caused left-sided facial palsy and left upper and lower limb weakness. Grace was forced to remain on the hospital’s paediatric neuro ward for several months, celebrating his seventh birthday there. Derek and Sarah are now organising an evening of fundraising for the Great North Children’s Hospital at the Comrades Club in Blyth on October 8, featuring a raffle and entertainment. Derek said: “The care there was absolutely amazing and this is our way of trying to thank the staff for giving Grace back to us.”
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