Crash teen's recovery astounds medical team

Victoria Lyon is starting to comunicate by using an iPad.

Howard and Judith Lyon said their daughter Victoria, 13, a promising sportswoman, had astounded the medical team who have been caring for her.

She can now walk with help and, although not yet able to talk, she communicates using an iPad.

Victoria started the next stage in her recovery on Monday at rehabilitation centre, The Children’s Trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury.

Victoria and her parents were travelling home to Brant Broughton after watching Newark Rugby Club’s first team playing away at Paviors on November 7 when their car was involved in a collision between Kelham and Averham. Victoria, who was in the back, was seriously hurt. 

A helimed team from Waddington, paramedics, fire and ambulance services were on the scene within 20 minutes. Mr Lyon said the speed of their response saved Victoria’s life.

She was taken to the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, where she was put into an induced coma.

She spent two weeks in intensive care before being moved to the paediatric neurology ward.

For several weeks there was little change. Her family were told it would be three months before they saw any sign of purposeful movement.

But on December 27 Victoria rolled over during a physiotherapy session.

She continued to improve and two weeks later took her first steps. 

Another major breakthrough came on February 5 when Victoria smiled for the first time. Her progress has been helped by the Brain Injury Living Lite (Brill) team at the hospital, which works with children suffering the lasting effects of a brain injury. “We have all been to hell and back,” said Mr Lyon. “The accident was horrific and Victoria has needed so much treatment but she has received amazing care from the QMC.” Members of Victoria’s family have been constantly with her while she has been in hospital. Her brother William, 19, is a student at Nottingham Trent University so has been able to visit regularly. Mr and Mrs Lyon said people in their village had shown amazing kindness and had been leaving home-cooked meals on their doorstep. There has also been huge support from Newark Rowing Club and Newark Rugby Club. Victoria has been a member of the rowing club for two years and is the English under-13 indoor rowing champion. She is a member of Newark Rugby Club’s under-15 girls’ squad who have recorded a song for her every week. Further support has come from Kesteven and Sleaford High School Selective Academy, where she is a pupil, and Mr Lyon said the family was grateful for the prayers of members of Charles Street Methodist Church, Newark. Victoria will have four months of rehabilitation at Tadworth Court, which offers aquatic therapy in its on-site multi-sensory pool and hippotherpay — adaptive horse riding. “Victoria has reached the stage when she needs to move on from the QMC and we feel fortunate that we have been able to get a place there as it is the best in the country,” said Mr Lyon. “It will be perfect for her.” Consultant neurology paediatrician Dr Gabriel Chow said Victoria was very ill when she was admitted and there had been a lot of dark days but she was now ready to continue with her rehabilitation at Tadworth. “She is a very strong-willed, determined girl,” said Dr Chow. “She was never going to give up. I am really proud of her.”
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