Mia's story

13 year old Mia is currently self-isolating at home, with mum Angela and sister Isobel. They have been keeping positive by sharing happy memories with one another.

In July 2019, 12 year old Mia was involved in an accident whilst quad biking with her dad. Having sustained a serious head injury, Mia was put into an induced coma at the scene before being airlifted to Addenbrookes Hospital.

She spent a week in intensive care as doctors tried to control the pressure in her brain, but with no real progress the decision was made to remove part of Mia’s skull to allow the brain to swell. However, after surgery the pressure did not minimise and the team quickly discovered she had a blood clot. With no time to waste, Mia was rushed back into theatre.

“It all just happened so quickly,” explains Mum Angela, “and then all we could do was wait.”

The operation successfully removed the clot and Mia was transferred back to the intensive care unit.

“A week later things slowly started to improve,” said Angela. “The machines and medication started to fall away and our daughter was coming back, it was so emotional but with every little movement, from the fluttering of eyelids to the twitching of her hands and feet we were overjoyed.”

Having spent two weeks being cared for by the intensive care team Mia was moved to another ward, where she quickly made progress with her physical movement. This was very important to the family as Mia really enjoyed being outside and keeping active. “We knew it would be a long recovery journey, but with the help of the amazing team at the hospital, we began to see a real difference in Mia.”

In September 2019, Mia was able to return home and celebrate her 13th birthday. It was then that the family got the news that Mia had a placement at The Children’s Trust in Surrey. Mia had regained many of her physical skills, but she still needed support, especially with her cognitive functions – including attention, memory, and language.

Just four weeks later, Mia, with mum Angela, arrived in Tadworth and started her two month specialist rehabilitation programme of Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Hydrotherapy.

Mia adapted quickly to her surroundings and was keen to take part in lots of different activities with the specialist play team. These varied from entertaining fellow residents on the piano in the communal lounge to competing in a penalty shootout with Fulham FC players – and even scoring a goal!

During her rehabilitation, Mia had to return to Addenbrookes hospital for her cranioplasty operation, where a titanium plate was fitted to her skull. “It was ironic really as the song Titanium was a real favourite of hers at the time. It has become a bit of an anthem for her.” In December 2019 Mia performed in front of friends, family and staff, before ringing the ‘going home bell’ to mark the end of her rehabilitation journey here and celebrate all that she had achieved. “It was a really poignant moment for both of us”, said Angela.

“Coming to The Children’s Trust has helped her so much – and me! All the staff are just so supportive and being able to socialise with the other young people has really helped restore a new level of confidence in her.”

Mia holding her thank you picture

Mia is enjoying being back at school with her friends and has also returned to her gymnastics class.

“Since being back she’s even been able to complete an aerial on the bouncy mat, something we never thought she’d be able to do again” said Angela.

However, since recent government guidelines were introduced Mia – alongside Angela and her sister Isobel – have been isolating at home.

We are now living the opposite of what our lives were like after Mia’s accident in respect of us being separated as a family. My partner Stuart is still at work, but us girls are at home and have been learning new songs on the keyboard.

Mia and Angela also shared a tip about how to stay positive at this time. “Close your eyes, put your hand on your heart and think of a happy memory, hold that memory in your head, give it a colour. Think of the warmth of that memory and take it from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. I could feel the warmth throughout my whole body. It was amazing! Mia and I shared our memories with each other. Hers was waking up in hospital and recognising me being her mum, and mine was when she laughed for the first time after all the trauma she'd experienced.” “As a family we couldn't be prouder of her and we will be forever grateful for The Children’s Trust and everyone that has helped Mia in her journey so far.”

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