Lucie Maguire, 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 Day One Trauma Support.
Lucie Maguire 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) 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 her 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. 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.
"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".
Now Lucie 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 to the appeal will be doubled thanks to matched 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.
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.”