In November 2016, eight year old Jasmine was left with a severe brain injury after a road traffic accident meaning she was no longer able to move, communicate or do anything for herself.
Jasmine, her sister and mother had been travelling home from school when a van collided with their car. Jasmine’s mother died at the scene and Jasmine was fighting for her life. She had multiple injuries, including a severe brain injury.
Jasmine’s father, Tony, says: “I’d gone away on holiday. I was on a train on my second day in Austria when I got the call saying the girls’ mum had passed away and that Jas was badly injured. A couple on the train clicked that something was wrong and helped me get a flight home. The first flight was 6am the next morning, so I had to wait overnight in the airport on my own.
The surgeon called and told me to get to any airport and once I got there, I would be blue-lighted on my arrival to the hospital. They didn’t give me much hope. When I got to the hospital, I sat with Jas, talking to her, singing to her, talking about her TV shows. But she wasn’t responsive and was on a ventilator.”
But very slowly, Jas started to improve and after four months in hospital, she began a programme of rehabilitation at The Children’s Trust. With help from speech and language therapists she began to talk again. They also worked with Jasmine to safely swallow and soon she was eating solid food on her own.
Jasmine’s physiotherapist worked with her to stand and to walk with the assistance of parallel bars, and her mobility has returned gradually. Tony says: “after a few weeks, on a day that I will never forget, I asked Jasmine if she could move her arm, and to my amazement she did. This was the first time she had moved on her own since the accident. Seeing her do this was incredible.”
“Jasmine couldn’t talk when she arrived at The Children’s Trust and the music therapy sessions were an outlet for her, she could make sounds with the instruments and have some control over noises which she didn’t have otherwise. She had been through a lot and music helped her express emotions. Together with the music therapy team, Jasmine wrote a song expressing how she felt, using lines from other songs. When it was finished we performed it, me and Jasmine on the instruments and one of the therapists sang. It helped Jasmine process what had happened, whilst having fun.”
After four months, Jasmine completed her rehabilitation and returned home and back to her school, continuing to make good progress.
Tony adds: “I used to sing Rockabye by Clean Bandit to Jasmine when she was in hospital. She was in a coma and couldn’t respond, but I felt like it helped. I couldn’t imagine that within a matter of months she would be singing the same song with me. I had seen the worst a parent could imagine and the glimmer of hope that I held onto was helped by music.
“Jasmine is 11 years old now and has now started high school. Jas is loving, caring, loud, she’s just brilliant. The hospital and ambulance staff saved her life but The Children’s Trust gave me my daughter back. I will be forever grateful.”