By Liz HearnshawTHE grandmother of a teenager who spent weeks in a coma following a road accident has spoken of her joy at a miraculous improvement in the youngster's condition.
By Liz Hearnshaw
THE grandmother of a teenager who spent weeks in a coma following a road accident has spoken of her joy at a miraculous improvement in the youngster's condition.
Ivy Parkes said her 17-year-old granddaughter Deborah, who was hurled through a brick wall after she was involved in a collision with a van, was now communicating with her family and preparing for rehabilitation at a specialist centre.
The teenager suffered head injuries as she walked to work from her home in Red Lodge last November.
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Deborah was left brain damaged and fighting for her life in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, with her anxious family by her bedside.
But now the youngster's condition is improving dramatically and her grandmother said the difference over the past six weeks had to be seen to be believed.
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“She is coming on in leaps and bounds and we are so pleased. Things really are looking good and she is responding to us,” said Mrs Parkes.
“We will say something to her and she will put her thumb up, and she sticks her tongue out once for 'Yes' and twice for 'No', so we can communicate with her.
“Before, tears would come to our eyes every time we saw her, but now we go home with a smile on our faces after every little thing she does. We are delighted.”
Deborah was moved to an assessment centre in Harrow, Middlesex, last week and will remain there for about eight weeks while her treatment needs are established.
She will then be moved to a specialist rehabilitation unit in Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire, where she will undergo a course of speech therapy and physiotherapy.
Although her family realise her road to recovery will be long, they are confident Deborah's determination and strength will help carry her though.
“There is a lot of physiotherapy to be done as her legs, arms and body are so stiff from being in bed so long,” said Mrs Parkes, who added Deborah's treatment would now be based on mental stimulation rather than medical.
“But she is very determined and a very strong girl. Deborah is not talking yet, but will be having speech therapy to encourage that.”
Mrs Parkes said support from the community had been a great help to the family over the past few months and thanked fundraisers for collecting money to help with her treatment.