A Kirkby Malzeard woman who spent 17 months in hospital after suffering catastrophic injuries after being hit by a tractor has spoken of her remarkable story.
Lucie Maguire was 19 when she was hit and dragged along the road under a 10-tonne trailer on January 27, 2021.
She had been trying to help her mum out of their smoke-filled car after they pulled over while travelling from Ripley towards Bishop Thornton.
Her injuries, compared to those suffered by bomb-blast victims in wars, included full amputation of her right leg and pelvis, broken back and internal damage to key organs including her bladder.
Speaking of the traumatic incident, Lucie, who is now 22, said:
“It was a cold, dark winter’s evening. My mum was driving me back home from work when the car started making funny noises and filled with horrible black smoke. We pulled over on a country lane and I got out. I went to the driver’s side to help my mum. I saw bright headlights coming towards me and thought it was someone who could help us.
“That’s when I was hit by a tractor and dragged under its 10-tonne trailer. I was stuck under there going round continuously with the wheels and it spat me out a bit further down the road.”
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She spent the first month at Leeds General Infirmary at the major trauma unit in a coma. Her parents said ‘goodbye’ at her bedside as her internal bleeding was so severe, medics feared she would die.
Lucie spent more than a year on the hospitals’ major trauma ward confined to her bed, while specialist teams liaised with military medics to rebuild Lucie’s body.
By the time she left hospital on June 28, 2022 (518 days later), she could sit up and even walked on one leg while using supports.
Throughout her stay at LGI, including during Christmas 2021, Lucie and her mum Sue were supported by Day One Trauma Support – a charity set up to help families affected by catastrophic injuries.
Lucie was often scared, depressed and at one stage pleaded her mum to smother her with a pillow as she could not see an end to the pain and misery she felt.
“The days, weeks and months became a blur. I had regular surgeries. At one stage it took eight people to help roll me over and change me. I had other people having to clean me and I thought ‘this shouldn’t be happening to me at 19’.
“At times I felt like the pain was never going to end. There was no light at the end of tunnel. The hospital became my home. The staff became my family. It got to the stage where I didn’t want to leave.
“I never thought I would enjoy life again. Every obstacle I overcame, I felt immensely proud of myself. Slowly I felt more positive and found strength I never knew I had. I’ve gained my independence. If I’ve got through this, I can get through anything. It’s made me a more resilient person. Before I would have given up.”
Day One Trauma Support, along with psychologists and staff at LGI, provided Lucie and Sue emotional and practical support they needed to readjust to their new life, including Sue becoming Lucie’s carer alongside running The Queens Head pub in their home village with Lucie’s dad Paul, known locally as Rocky.
Now Lucie, who uses a power-assisted wheelchair and lives in her own bungalow in Kirkby Malzeard, is raising awareness of the long recovery journey people face after major traumatic injuries to support Day One’s Christmas Appeal so it can help even more people who face life-changing injuries over the coming months.
“Day One Trauma Support was amazing. I feel like they saved my life.
“They were one of my constants, providing that emotional support that the busy NHS staff just don’t have the time to give. They were with me at the start and they’ve been with me ever since. The emotional support my mum and I received from Day One was massive.
“Someone to talk to. Someone to offload to. Someone who doesn’t judge and knows the bad days will get better.”
Lucy Nickson, CEO of Day One Trauma Support, said:
“People are struggling financially during a cost-of-living crisis, and the impact is only compounded when a family member suffers a sudden catastrophic injury and faces a long recovery journey, often with a disability and reduced income. Our caseworkers are seeing the reality of this every day in the Major Trauma Centres we operate and through our national support service.
“That’s why our appeal is so important so that we can reach everyone who needs our help – people like Lucie. Lucie’s story of recovery is truly inspiring and we’re so grateful that she has shared her story to support our cause. Together we can ensure no one is left to rebuild their life on their own this Christmas.”