Mum thanks daughter’s life-savers

Published Tuesday, 22 July 2014
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The mother of a young girl, whose life was saved by the quick actions of police and emergency crews after she was seriously injured in a bike accident at the weekend, has said she can’t thank those involved enough.

Neighbourhood policing officers were on duty at the Castlewellan Show in Co Down on Saturday when they were alerted that a young girl had sustained a serious leg injury nearby.

Eleven-year-old Alanna Casement had been riding her bike when she fell off and the handlebar penetrated her leg - damaging her femoral artery.

Officers tasked a PSNI helicopter to airlift the girl, along with the rapid response paramedic, to hospital where she underwent surgery on her leg.

"She lost a substantial amount of blood at the scene and we've been told by the PSNI that if she had have been any further away or if she hadn't have had the help there on the day, that we wouldn't have had Alanna with us today," Alanna's mum Collette told UTV.

"The Castlewellan Agricultural Show was on so there were people in the park who had medical training.

"They all rushed to her aid. A paramedic, Brian, came and was just fantastic. Alanna, now that she's come round and is talking a wee bit, Brian was one of the first people she mentioned, she just loves him to bits."

We just can’t thank people enough. It’s amazing.

Collette Casement, Alanna’s mum

Collette was not with Alanna when the accident happened and she did not know the extent of her injuries until she arrived at the hospital.

She said the medical team at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast told her that Alanna had been "incredibly lucky" as she had lost more than half of her blood supply.

She added: "The police service and the ambulance service and the staff in RVH have just overwhelmed us, and of course our friends who she was with in Castlewellan Forest Park and her dad who was first on the scene and we're led to believe, really saved her life."

Alanna remains in hospital where her condition is described as "serious but stable".

Inspector Mark Peters, from Newcastle Neighbourhood Team, said: "This could have ended in tragedy and I am just glad the officers, both the local neighbourhood and response officers and the crew from the PSNI helicopter, were able to do their bit to help save this young girl's life.

"We would all like to wish her a speedy recovery.

"As police officers, one of our main priorities is to keep people safe and this is another example of how the PSNI and our partner agencies work together to do this. As an officer, being able to help someone in this way makes our job worthwhile."

Ruth McNamara, Ambulance Service Area Manager, praised the actions of those involved in the operation.

She said: "With schools now out for the summer, we have noticed an increasing number of young people out and about enjoying activities which have been planned by various community groups.

"With such large numbers, there is always the potential for accidents to happen. Whilst the ambulance service will respond to every incident as quickly as we can, it is often the actions of those first on the scene that play a major part in the saving of a life."

She added that on this occasion it was the quick thinking of the PSNI officers and paramedics, who were on duty at the event, that ensured that this young girl was given every chance to survive her ordeal.

"The Rapid Response Paramedic who arrived on the scene has been fulsome in his praise for these officers and we are delighted that the co-operation between the two services has had such a positive outcome."

© UTV News
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14 Comments
peter in belfast wrote (94 days ago):
I actually filled up reading this. Makes a lovely change to some of the awful, sectarian,parochial, bitter nonsense we get in the news over here. Well done too everybody involved. Hope the wee girl gets out soon.
Thomas in Co Antrim wrote (94 days ago):
Come on UTV, 24hrs later and my comment hasn't been posted! Well done to the PSNI air support unit and the officers on the ground for getting the help young Alana needed, I hope she makes a speedy recovery. A dedicated air ambulance with experienced trauma doctors and HEMS paramedics is what is needed in N. Ireland and long overdue. We shouldn't have to rely on the police and SAR assets from Scotland and the ROI for these emergencies. The health minister should be explaining why the PSNI are doing so many tasks like this every week without the medical personnel and equipment needed.
ZERO HOUR PARAMEDICS? in Northern Ireland wrote (94 days ago):
Wonderful life saving work all round. However, are the Public aware that our Local Goverment value these people so much that many of our Paramedics here in NI are on ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS? Not a mith, the Paramedics who transported me to the Hospital recently told me how long they'd been on Zero Hours. UTV - Make a story out of this and shame our Local Govt via UTV Live!!
W in Antrim wrote (94 days ago):
I wish Alana a speedy recovery after what must have been a time of enormous angst immediately after the accident. It is great news that there has been such a positive outcome, and I hope that the pain, trauma and stress of the accident can quickly become a distant memory for Alana and her parents.
liam in belfast wrote (95 days ago):
its amazing what can be achieved when people work together in this country.well done to all involved and best wishes to the young lady and her family,great to hear shes gona be ok...
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