The mother of a 15-year-girl who suffered horrific injuries in a horse riding accident says the surgeon who rebuilt her daughter’s face has worked miracles.
Michelle Eccles said she was driving with husband Chris when she received a call which said: “There’s been an accident. I’m so sorry. It’s Emily.”
Mrs Eccles, 50, said the caller was in so much shock after what had happened to her daughter Emily “I actually thought she’d died.”
She said the couple rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital where a nurse warned her to prepare herself before entering the room where Emily was being treated.
Teacher Mrs Eccles said: “I took a few deep breaths and then she guided me into the room.
“I think some sort of coping mechanism came over me.
“It’s your daughter there in a critical condition and looking very poorly and quite gruesome as well.
“But her eyes were still the same so I just thought, ‘just focus on her eyes’.
“I gave her a kiss on her forehead and kept saying ‘it’s going to be all right’.”
She said: “Luckily, Emily’s sense of humour never stopped.“
And this was reinforced when her husband chipped in with : “Em, you don’t do anything by halves”, prompting a mock exasperated response from their daughter.
Mrs Eccles described how she stayed as Emily was treated at the hospital for 11 days following the emergency surgery by consultant facial reconstructive surgeon Ricardo Mohammed-Ali.
She said she could not believe the rapid recovery following Mr Mohammed-Ali’s work.
“After six days the bandages came off,” Mrs Eccles said.
“That was just miraculous.
“I couldn’t believe there was just this one scar and everything, although still swollen, was back in the right place.
“It just is miraculous what he had done.”
She said: “Being able to come home after such a horrific accident, 11 days on, is just testament to him and all the other professionals.
“We’ve tried to thank him and he’s such an unassuming guy.
“He just smiles quietly and says ‘I was just doing my job’.
“But my husband and I say ‘you’re job is just so amazing that you could bring her back’.”
Mr and Mrs Eccles said they have visited the gate on a Derbyshire lane where Emily had her accident and there is a metal spike just next to the point of impact.
They said they have realised it could have been even worse.
Mrs Eccles said: “I’ve tired to block that from our minds.
“Mr Mohammed-Ali said that a centimetre either way would have been catastrophic.”
The family has already started to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Charity’s appeal for a helipad in Sheffield and also for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
They have held a garden party at their home near Sheffield and set up an online appeal page to help raise funds.