Ellie McDonnell's mother recalls the day when her daughter was involved in a very serious collision on-farm.
“On the lane going up to the house, there are two blind corners. If either of us had a second to see each other, we might have been able to brake or turn the wheel.”
“We collided head-on – Ellie came off the quad, hit the windscreen, went over the top of the jeep and ended up in the ditch, at the side of the lane.”
“I ran to her and held her in my arms – her mouth was full of blood and I was convinced she was breathing her last.” her mother admitted.
Ellie’s mother phoned the emergency services to request an ambulance. With ten minutes, the air ambulance and its pre-hospital medical team were on-site.
The began working on Ellie straight away and put her in an induced coma to protect her brain. “It was obvious to us that Ellie was quite sick and had a significant head injury.” an Air Ambulance NI spokesperson said.
Ultimately, the medical team needed to get the young student to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. “We decided, on that particular day, that we needed to put Ellie asleep and to put her onto life support – this is something that normally wouldn’t happen to patients until they actually reach the hospital, but this is one of the critical skills that the air ambulance brings.”
She was transported by air ambulance to hospital. “The consultant told us that because of the swelling on her brain, Ellie couldn’t have survived another five minutes. They call it the golden hour – that window when people with serious injuries have to be operated on, to have any chance of survival.”
Ellie’s arms, eye sockets, legs, cheeks and teeth were broken. and she had swelling on her brain. “They thought she might not walk again, talk again.”
After eight weeks in Royal Victoria Hospital, Ellie was discharged. “I don’t remember much about that day, all I know is that the air ambulance saved my life, and without them, I wouldn’t be sitting here today,” Ellie said.
“Ellie is a farmer’s daughter, she is a fighter, but without the air ambulance, she wouldn’t have got the chance to fight.” her mother added.
Since the accident, Ellie has returned to school and hopes to become a doctor. “She has started jogging to help build her strength and can’t wait to get back on the horse someday.”
“I don’t know how we would have ever coped if we had lost Ellie and without the air ambulance, she wouldn’t be here.” her mother concluded.
Image source: Air Ambulance NI \ Youtube