15 broken bones and still a smile on her face! Brave Gorleston schoolgirl’s ‘miracle’ recovery
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The family of a schoolgirl hit by a van and left in a coma have told of her 'miracle' recovery.
Charley Robbins, 10, was playing on her scooter near her home in Kings Road, Gorleston, on September 13 when she was knocked down.
She was airlifted from the James Paget University Hospital (JPH) in Gorleston to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, where she spent 10 days in a medically-induced coma.
While she had a small bleed on the brain she did not have serious head, neck or spine injuries when she regained consciousness.
But she needed four operations and 12 weeks in hospital – including the JPH, Addenbrooke's and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) – to recover from 15 broken bones.
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She suffered two fractures to her collar bone, five broken ribs, three fractures to her right leg, two to her left leg, a broken left arm, right shoulder and cheekbone.
And she has lost some sight in her right eye, has permanent nerve damage in her left wrist and uses a walking frame.
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But confident Charley has stunned her doctors with the speed of her recovery and hopes to return to Stradbroke Primary School this month.
Her mum Sam, 34, said: 'She's one lucky little girl – a miracle child.
'I think her stubbornness and determination has got her where she is now. We have to tell her to slow down. The next thing is just to get back to normality.'
She said they feared the worst when a group of Charley's friends knocked on their door and said she had been run over, but things are improving day by day.
Her sister Angel, 12, has been a 'superstar' and was at Charley's bedside even when she was in a coma.
She said all she wanted for Christmas was for Charley to come home.
Charley was discharged in early December, and dad Paul, 44, said the overwhelming generosity of the community made it their best Christmas ever – together with brother Ben, 17.
'When the accident happened we thought we had lost her,' he said. 'We wanted the house to look out of this world for Charley when she got home.
'People have brought stuff to us from here, there and everywhere.'
Mum Sam added: 'We just wanted a nice family Christmas, and the girls said it was the best Christmas they've had. Thanks to everyone it made their Christmas.'
Charley, an active child who was a member of the school choir, gardening club and art club, said her recovery had been difficult.
'It's been a bit demanding,' she revealed. 'I just couldn't stop moving about.
'I couldn't even keep still in my hospital bed.'
She said she cannot do all the things she used to, but enjoys singing with her sister and is looking forward to her favourite art lessons at school.
A package of Christmas cards from Charley's classmates was delivered to their house on Christmas Day, and Charley smiled as she said it was 'nice'.
The family has hailed the admin group who ran the Facebook group 'Please Help Charley Bear', which helped gather donations including new sofas and a bed for them.
They also praised Sarah, Lee, Becky and Dawn who helped organise a fundraising
event at Kingfisher Holiday Park, police officers who brought them baubles, tinsel and teddies after they were burgled, the Tia's Treasures group and Angel's school Ormiston Venture Academy which donated an iPad.
And they said they are indebted to paramedic Pam who helped keep Charley alive at the roadside, and all the medical staff including the air ambulance, ward 10 at the JPH, intensive care at Addenbrooke's and the N&N.