The parents of a 17-year-old girl have today described her “miracle” survival from a crash that killed four young men – and praised the NHS staff who saved her life.
Robyn Hoban, who was just 16 at the time of the crash, was a passenger in a Seat Leon which was involved in an accident on the A6120 in Horsforth in the early hours of June 30 in which four young men were killed when their car collided with a taxi.
Brandon Frew, 19, Caelan Megson, 21, Matt Walshaw, 18, and Declan Grove, 19, described as ‘the best lads you could ever meet’, died in the collision. An inquest into their deaths has been opened and adjourned.
Robyn, who can’t remember the accident, another 17 year old girl and the taxi driver survived but suffered serious injuries.
“We know how lucky we are,” says roofer dad Paul, from Cookridge.
“It is a miracle she survived. But our thoughts go out to those families who lost a child – that could easily have been us. The whole community has been rocked by what happened.”
Robyn was today speaking at an event in Leeds to celebrate fourth anniversary of trauma service Day One – which supported her after the accident – and to announce the service, which has helped more than 400 people, is to be expanded across all West Yorkshire hospitals.
Her experience over the last two months has actually helped her decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do before the accident, but the care and support I got from all the staff the LGI (Leeds General Infirmary) and then at Chapel Allerton Hospital made me realise I really want to be a nurse, I want to give something back.”
The Hobans say their journey has also been made bearable with the help and support from trauma charity Day One at the LGI which today announced it was expanding across all West Yorkshire hospitals.
The not-for-profit service funded by Leeds Cares sourced Robyn a wig which helped give her her confidence back.
“It has made going back to school easier but I don’t mind not wearing the wig, it is part of what happened.”
Robyn was on a ventilator in intensive care for a number of days after being put into an induced coma.
“You watch her every movement from the first twitch of her finger,” says Paul, who spent a month sleeping on a camp bed next to his youngest daughter.
“When she came round she put her hands to her head and felt that she had no hair and started to panic so I told her what had happened.”
Robyn has since received support from psychologists to help her come to terms with what happened.
The family have been moved by the level of dedication staff showed from the beginning and throughout Robyn’s ongoing journey, as well as support from family and friends.
A maxillofacial surgeon had the job of reattaching Robyn’s scalp which involved a large number of staples and has left her with a large scar around her head. She had surgery to her pelvis which now has two screws in it, which Robyn hopes will be removed soon.
After five weeks in the LGI she was moved to Chapel Allerton last month where she had to undergo neuro rehabilitation which is ongoing as she tries to get her life back to normal.
It is clear Robyn, who turned 17 in hospital, is an extremely positive and determined young woman who wants to get on with her life.
Her parents are understandably protective and want their daughter to slow down.
“She wants to run before she can walk sometimes,” says Paul.
“Robyn is so positive despite what she has been through,” says Amanda. “She has really helped us cope.”