Meet Darcy

Patient story

Darcy’s Story

In 2016 Stephanie received the devastating news that her five-year-old daughter Darcy had been involved in a serious road traffic collision in Bury St Edmunds.

Darcy was travelling in the car when it hit the central reservation, rolled and collided with a lorry and subsequently the front of the car became trapped beneath the lorry.

The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) paramedics arrived on scene first, shortly followed by East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), who had been called due to the severity of the incident. Darcy had suffered multiple injuries including major head and chest trauma, and had a clear fracture of her skull. Darcy then went into cardiac arrest.

EAAA Dr Sarah McNeilly and Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) Mark Milsom worked together with the EEAST crew to resuscitate Darcy by performing CPR and ventilating her lungs with 100% oxygen. They managed to regain her pulse. The EAAA crew then administered a general anaesthetic to Darcy at the roadside and used a portable ventilator to manage her breathing. They then performed a surgical procedure to open the chest cavity from both sides to treat potential collapsed lungs.

Darcy was taken to the nearest Major Trauma Centre at Addenbrooke’s. Darcy’s injuries included a fractured femur, a fractured pelvis, a fractured wrist, a collapsed lung and multiple skull fractures including a fracture of her eye socket. She was kept in hospital for eleven weeks in total. When she was able to come home, she attended rehabilitation sessions for the next three weeks to help her learn to walk and talk again.

“It’s absolutely amazing to meet Darcy and to see how well she’s doing. For me, it was definitely one of the most traumatic and emotional missions I have attended in 25 years of being a paramedic.

To meet her just a few months on and see her walking around was a fantastic moment for me, and reminds me why I do the job I do.” Mark, CCP