Yorkshire teenager left with 'bomb-like injuries' after being hit by tractor
Lucie Maguire was 19 when she had her right leg amputated, broke her back and suffered more internal injuries after she was hit by the vehicle.
She was traveling back from her job as a apprentice nursery worker in January 2021 when her mum Sue's car started filling with 'horrible, black smoke.' Lucie got out of the car and went to help her mum out of the car when suddenly she was hit by a tractor and dragged along the road, underneath it's ten-tonne trailer.
She was placed in an induced coma at Leeds General Infirmary and her parents had been allowed visits to say their 'goodbyes' to their daughter.
Medics feared Lucie, now 22, wouldn't survive the severe internal bleeding she experienced and didn't know if she would ever be able to sit up, let alone walk.
Speaking about the accident for the first time, Lucie said she said bye to her mum at the scene and to her dad Paul over the phone, because she 'accepted' she would die.
She said: "It was a cold, dark winter's evening. My mum was driving me back home from work when the car started making funny noises and filled with horrible black smoke. We pulled over on a country lane and I got out. I went to the driver's side to help my mum. I saw bright headlights coming towards me and thought it was someone who could help us.
"That's when I was hit by a tractor and dragged under its 10-tonne trailer. I was stuck under there going round continuously with the wheels and it spat me out a bit further down the road. I remember not feeling in pain. My right leg just felt uncomfortable. I wanted someone to straighten it for me as I couldn't.
"I told my parents how much I loved them. I accepted I was probably going to die because surely nobody survives what I'd just been through."
Lucie had her right leg amputated at the hip, broke her back and suffered internal injuries - still is still having operations now and will have her bladder removed.
She spent months in hospital and it took her a while to re-learn how to sit up, stand up and then walk while holding a rail. NHS staff even liaised with military doctors as they compared her injuries 'to someone who had been blown up in Afghanistan.'
Lucie said: "When I woke up a month later in the intensive care unit I could see my mum at the foot of my bed and my dad was stroking my hair. I couldn't talk, I struggled to breathe, and I was in so much pain. I had no idea about the severity of my injuries. It was a few days before they told me I had no right leg. They had to amputate.
"The right side of my pelvis was gone too and I had open wounds. I had a lot of internal damage. A lot of my internal organs no longer worked. The only way the doctor could explain my injuries was to compare me to someone who had been blown up in Afghanistan. I remember thinking 'Wow, this is serious'.
"The days, weeks and months became a blur. I had regular surgeries. At one stage it took eight people to help roll me over and change me. I had other people having to clean me and I thought this shouldn't be happening to me at 19."
Lucie left hospital on June 28 last year - 518 days after the accident, which happened on a country lane between Ripley and Bishop Thornton in North Yorkshire. But she had to live in a makeshift bedroom in her parent's pub because she couldn't even use the stairs to access her family home above.
Now, Lucie uses a power-assisted wheelchair and lives as independently as she can in her own bungalow in her home village of Kirkby Malzeard.
She said: "At times I felt like the pain was never going to end. There was no light at the end of tunnel. The hospital became my home. The staff became my family. It got to the stage where I didn't want to leave. I never thought I would enjoy life again. Every obstacle I overcame, I felt immensely proud of myself.
"Slowly I felt more positive and found strength I never knew I had. I've gained my independence. If I've got through this, I can get through anything. It's made me a more resilient person. Before I would have given up."
Lucie spent her first Christmas since the accident in hospital and said it 'was the worst' and that she couldn't stop 'worrying about her future.' But she says she was supported by charity Day One Trauma Support - who help support people who have had a major trauma injury.
Lucie is now supporting their Christmas appeal, where they are aiming to help even more people who face life-changing injuries over the coming months.
She said: "Christmas 2021 in hospital was the worst. I should have been partying with my friends, not crying in hospital and worrying about my future. I'm so grateful that Day One was there for me and my family at Christmas.
"They do so much for people with injuries like mine, which is why I'm so passionate to support their Christmas Appeal and would encourage anyone to donate and help other people like me."
You can support Day One Trauma's Christmas appeal here.
Lucy Nickson, CEO of the charity, says their appeal is 'so important' because they want to 'reach everyone who needs their help.' She said: "People are struggling financially during a cost-of-living crisis. The impact is only compounded when a family member suffers a sudden catastrophic injury and faces a long recovery journey, often with a disability and reduced income.
"Our caseworkers are seeing the reality of this every day in the major trauma centres we operate and through our national support service. That's why our appeal is so important so that we can reach everyone who needs our help - people like Lucie.
"Lucie's story of recovery is truly inspiring. Together we can ensure no one is left to rebuild their life on their own this Christmas."