Lucie Maguire, 19, was hit by a tractor and dragged along the road under its 10-tonne trailer.
- Remained awake throughout, telling parents she loved them at roadside as she feared she would die.
- Suffered life-changing injuries, including an amputation of her right leg – similar to someone hit by a bomb, with military doctors assisting surgeons.
- Spent 518 days (17 months) in specialist trauma hospital (Leeds) – longest patient stay.
Lucie Maguire, 22, of Kirkby Malzeard, North Yorkshire, 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.
I remember not feeling in pain. My right leg just felt uncomfortable. I wanted someone to straighten it for me as I couldn’t. I told my parents how much I loved them. I accepted I was probably going to die because surely nobody survives what I’d just been through.
When I woke up a month later in the intensive care unit I could see my mum at the foot of my bed and my dad was stroking my hair. I couldn’t talk, I struggled to breathe, and I was in so much pain. I had no idea about the severity of my injuries. It was a few days before they told me I had no right leg. They had to amputate. The right side of my pelvis was gone too and I had open wounds. I had a lot of internal damage. A lot of my internal organs no longer worked.
The only way the doctor could explain my injuries was to compare me to someone who had been blown up in Afghanistan. I remember thinking ‘Wow, this is serious’.
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 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.
I had no idea how I was going to live and pay for things outside of hospital if I wasn’t working. I had never thought about benefits as I’m a young woman and expected to work all my life. I didn’t know how it all worked and what I needed to put in place when I left hospital. I remember speaking to someone from Day One about what I was entitled to, which was a massive relief for me as I wouldn’t have known where to start.
Christmas 2021 in hospital was the worst. I should have been partying with my friends, not crying in hospital and worrying about my future. I’m so grateful that Day One was there for me and my family at Christmas. They do so much for people with injuries like mine, which is why I’m so passionate to support their Christmas Appeal and would encourage anyone to donate and help other people like me.
Despite fears she may never be able to sit up, Lucie has learned to walk on one leg and is at home, living independently with use of a power-assisted wheelchair.
She shares remarkable story of recovery for first time as part of Day One Trauma Support’s Christmas Appeal – charity was there for her and her family.
New figures obtained by charity show major trauma admissions on the rise, with families set to struggle with financial burden of catastrophic injuries over festive period.
A teenager who spent 17 months (518 days) in a major trauma hospital recovering from bomb-like injuries after being hit by a tractor has shared her remarkable story of recovery to launch a Christmas appeal for the charity that ‘saved her life’.
Lucie Maguire, of Kirkby Malzeard, near Harrogate, NorthYorkshire, suffered life-changing injuries when she was hit by a tractor and dragged along the road under its 10-tonne trailer in North Yorkshire on 27 January 2021. She had been trying to help her mum out of their smoke-filled car at the time. 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.
Lucie, who was 19 at the time, spent the first month at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) – home to the region’s Major Trauma Centre – in a coma fighting for her life. Her parents said ‘goodbye’ at her bedside as her internal bleeding was so severe, medics feared she would die. They also never knew whether she would be able to sit up or stand again.
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 28 June 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.
Thankfully, Day One Trauma Support, along with psychologists and staff at LGI, gave Lucie and Sue hope for the future and provided the 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. Donations made via www.dayonetrauma.org/donate between now and 3 January will be doubled thanks to match funding by Aviva Community Fund. This means a donation of £32.36 will cover two hours of listening, advice and support for someone in need this festive season.
New data* released by the charity, with support from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTHT) and the Trauma Audit Research Network (TARN), shows that last Christmas (between 1-31 December 2022) Leeds Major Trauma Centre had the greatest number of major trauma admissions (151) from the past five years – a 10% increase from the previous December 2021 of 137. Last year 21 major trauma patients remained in hospital on Christmas Day. LTHT has treated more than 16,000 seriously injured patients since the Major Trauma Centre opened in 2013, with a 92.5% overall survival rate. The centre is the second busiest in the country.
Day One Trauma Support is expecting to have given out more than £80,000 in emergency grants by the close of 2023, more than 150% increase on the amount it gave in 2022 (31,731). Small grants from the charity help people with immediate costs such as replacement clothes if they’ve been cut off in an accident, travel and parking costs, and accommodation so loved ones can remain nearby.
Day One provides bedside support to patients and families at five Major Trauma Centres in Leeds, Aintree, Sheffield, Newcastle and Middlesbrough, and to anyone affected by major trauma through its National Support Service. As well as emergency grants, it provides legal, welfare and benefits advice, counselling and peer support from volunteers who are further ahead on their recovery journey. More than half of major trauma cases in the UK are caused by road traffic collisions and falls, and trauma is recognised as the main cause of death for people under the age of 45 and is a major cause of debilitating long-term injuries.
To watch Lucie’s video and support her appeal visit www.dayonetrauma.org/donate
On 27 January 2021, 19-year-old nursery apprentice Lucie Maguire was a passenger in her mum Sue’s car as they travelled from Lucie’s work in Ripley, near Harrogate, back to their home village of Kirkby Malzeard, near Ripon, when their car filled with smoke.
Sue pulled over on Fountains Road, a country lane between Ripley and Bishop Thornton, shortly after 5pm. It was dark and Lucie got out and went to the driver’s door to help her mum out of the car. That’s when she saw bright lights heading towards her and was hit by a tractor and dragged along the road underneath it’s 10-tonne trailer. The tractor never stopped, but Lucie’s body did.
Lucie remained conscious throughout the ordeal, telling her mum at the scene, and her dad via mobile phone, that she loved them and expected to die. Because of restrictions in place due to the Covid pandemic, Lucie travelled by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary – home to the region’s Major Trauma Centre – accompanied only by the paramedics.
On arrival at LGI Lucie was placed in an induced coma and woke up a month later in the intensive care unit. During that time her parents had been allowed to visit to say their ‘goodbyes’ as medics feared Lucie wouldn’t survive the severe internal bleeding. They didn’t know if Lucie would ever be able to sit up, let alone walk.
Lucie, now 22, had her right leg amputated at the hip, broke her back and suffered internal injuries. She spent months in hospital, undergoing numerous operations as doctors compared her injuries to a bomb blast victim. They liaised with military doctors from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
It took months for Lucie to sit up, and eventually stand and walk while holding rails. When she left hospital on 28 June 2022 – 518 days later – she had to live in a makeshift bedroom in the restaurant of her parents’ pub The Queens Head as she couldn’t use the stairs to access the family home above. Now she lives in her own bungalow in the village and uses a power-assisted wheelchair to live as independently as she can, still supported by her parents and sisters Zanne, Sammi and Chloe.
During Christmas 2021, Lucie was in hospital supported by trauma staff and Day One, instead of enjoying celebrations with her family and friends. That’s why she’s supporting Day One’s Christmas Appeal so it can be there for people who find themselves in hospital with life-changing injuries over the festive period.
Last year Lucie won the Unsung Hero Award in the Yorkshire Young Achievers Awards in recognition of her bravery and determination. She continues to have further operations, including removal of her bladder in the near future.
Samantha Monkman, Major Trauma Ward Manager at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
All the staff involved with Lucie’s care are delighted she’s made such an amazing recovery and is working towards living independently at home. Lucie was our longest serving patient on the trauma ward and we became like family as we worked through all the challenges she faced together. It was the first time many of us had cared for a patient with the extent of injuries Lucie had, but by learning and working together across Leeds Teaching Hospitals, and the NHS, we were able to give Lucie the best possible chance of recovery.
As health professionals we could focus on Lucie’s physical recovery, knowing Day One Trauma Support was there for her and mum by giving them the emotional and practical support they needed, both in hospital and once they continued their recovery journey at home.
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.
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