Schoolgirl recalls freak accident

Published Thursday, 24 July 2014
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A young Co Down schoolgirl, who nearly died after the handlebar of a bicycle damaged an artery in her leg, has spoken for the first time about her ordeal to UTV.

Although still unable to walk after the freak accident in Castlewellan Forest Park at the weekend, Alanna Casement is determined to play netball and Gaelic football again.

Alanna had been riding her friend's bicycle in the park when it skidded and one of the handlebars - which didn't have protective rubber covers - sank deep into her thigh damaging her femoral artery.

When the young girl pulled the handlebar out, blood went streaming down her leg.

The last thing she remembered before fainting was running to her friend Paulette's father for help, as he rushed over to her.

"I must have fainted or something - I felt nothing," she said, of what happened next.

"I remember Paulette's dad was holding my leg - the blood had stopped. I remember wakening up and everyone was around me."

She admitted that she had no idea how badly injured she was.

Paramedics, who were on standby at the Agricultural Show in the Co Down park, were quickly on the scene as were the PSNI, who called in their helicopter to airlift Alanna to the Royal hospital in Belfast.

A move which undoubtedly saved her life as the child had lost more than half of the blood in her body.

The schoolgirl said that she was later told her lips had gone blue, as paramedics urged her to stay with them while she received oxygen at the scene.

Alanna said that she wasn't scared until she got to the Royal Victoria Hospital For Sick Children and saw the medical staff scrub up in the theatre.

"I just kept screaming 'Get me to sleep!' because the pain was really sore then."

When she woke up after the emergency surgery, she was able to see her parents for the first time since her ordeal began.

"I was really happy to see mummy and daddy's face," she admitted.

Unable to walk yet, Alanna will have to undergo intensive physiotherapy - but she's determined to play football and netball again.

Alanna is hoping to leave hospital next week and is looking forward to being back home with her friends and family in Annacloy.

© UTV News
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16 Comments
PJ in Co Down wrote (148 days ago):
The facts are in her accident the blood loss occurred,when the child in shock pulled out the bar handle of the bicycle stuck in her thigh was the error. Any one qualified in first Aid knows how important it is not to put out any object ie bicycle handle bar out of deep wound and get the child to Hospital. However Alanna was lucky indeed to get emergency services and immediately surgery and replaced bloods to save her life. I wish her speedy recovery
Joan in Co Down wrote (148 days ago):
Great happy story of a brave child Alanna,wish you well soon Thank God.
Billy G in East Belfast wrote (149 days ago):
What an eloquently spoken little lady. Your parents/guardians should be proud. I hope your wee friend who ran off screaming is ok too. Wishing you all well and a speedy recovery. Well done the emergency services!
lorna in belfast wrote (149 days ago):
good outcome, be careful out there folks!
James in Comber wrote (150 days ago):
Great wee girl. I hope Alanna you have a speedy recovery and get back to the sports you enjoy.
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