Injured girl comes home for Christmas

By Danielle NuttallA SCHOOLGIRL who broke her back in a freak accident at her friend's house is enjoying home comforts for the first time in 12 weeks.

By Danielle Nuttall

A SCHOOLGIRL who broke her back in a freak accident at her friend's house is enjoying home comforts for the first time in 12 weeks.

Zoe Talbot, 11, returned to her home in Hadleigh on Saturday for Christmas following three months of round-the-clock care at Ipswich Hospital and The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, Middlesex.

The Hadleigh Primary School pupil was sitting talking to her friends when a porch canopy fell on her.

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Zoe's back was badly broken as well as her leg and some ribs. She was airlifted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford by an RAF helicopter from Wattisham Airfield and had three pins fitted inside her back.

Doctors have told the youngster she only has a 50/50 chance of walking again, but her spirits have lifted since she regained feeling in the toes on her left foot and leg and also the toes on her right foot.

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Zoe returned to the family home in Cottesford Close on Saturday, where she will remain for Christmas, and enjoyed a first home supper of McDonald's.

Her father, Bob, said last night: "She's fine and back to her normal self. She's been relaxing and seeing some of her friends.

"We have not been together as a family for 12 weeks. It's brilliant, we couldn't have wished for any more in the circumstances. She was getting a bit depressed with being in hospital, but her spirits have lifted so much already."

Zoe is getting a wheelchair today and is aiming to spend 15 minutes a day in it, with her family hoping she will be strong enough to relax in it all day on Christmas Day. The schoolgirl will then return to hospital for intensive physiotherapy on January 4.

Meanwhile, Laurie Squirrell, the top moto-cross rider who broke her back last month when she fell off her bike in America, is due to arrive back in the UK today.

The 16-year-old, from Hitcham, near Stowmarket, was practising for her first race in San Antonio, Texas, when the accident happened, which has left her paralysed from the chest down.

The Stowmarket High School pupil will be taken to the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, but it is not yet known whether she will be home for Christmas.

Her father, Richard, said last night: "I'm hoping she will come home for Christmas, but we don't know.

"She's feeling good in herself, but she's getting migraines at the moment, which is putting her back a bit. She's looking forward to getting home and can't wait to get back."

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