Poppy fought back from brink of death after being hit by van
THE mother of a little girl who was hospitalised for six months after being hit by a van has described her daughter as her "little miracle".
Seven-year-old Poppy Drake was hit by a van on Radford Park Road, in Plymstock, in April last year.
The youngster was rushed to Derriford Hospital but following a scan, which revealed a brain injury, was immediately airlifted to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol where her mum was told her daughter may not survive the night.
But nearly a year after being released from hospital little Poppy is defying the odds and has even returned to mainstream school. Her mum, who does not wish to be named, said: "When we got to Frenchay Hospital Poppy was rushed straight into theatre for brain surgery. We were told to prepare ourselves that she might not make it through the night. Poppy then remained in intensive care for three months.
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"She had loads of operations, I lost count, but she was a really, really brave girl. The doctors put her into an induced coma for two months following the surgery because of the swelling on her brain and to give her the best possible chance of recovery."
When Poppy was finally brought around from the coma she was faced with having to relearn how to walk, talk, eat and do the simple things most of us take for granted.
Her mum said: "She's my little miracle. She can't dress herself and finds it hard to communicate but Poppy doesn't want to be treated any differently. Poppy never gives up. She is determined to do everything. She is just so brave and we are all very proud of her.
"Our lives have changed 100 per cent and it has made us realise how important family is."
Poppy suffered a diffuse axonal brain injury and ataxia in her right arm as a result of the accident.
As well as having to learn how to write with, and use, her left arm for most things, Poppy also had a shunt fitted in her brain to reduce some of the pressure. Her balance can also sometimes be an issue and she has a problem with her vision.
Her mum said: "No one can predict Poppy's outlook because she has defied the odds so much already.
"She's now back at school full time, with the help of a teaching assistant, and just wants to be the same as everyone in her class. She has a go at everything!
"Things are getting a bit more normal now. Poppy still has a little way to go.
"It's still quite raw - we didn't come home from the hospital until September last year and we were all living in a bubble not knowing what the outcome would be - it was a hard year but we got there. My hopes now are that she continues to improve and goes on to live as normal life as possible. It was the worst year of our lives but we are now looking to the future."
Karen and Colin Hill, Poppy's grandparents, said they are extremely proud of their daughter and of the way their granddaughter has fought back.
They said: "Poppy's mum is as big a fighter as Poppy herself - she never left her side once and we are ever so proud of them both."
Poppy's mum said the local community have been "absolutely wonderful" since her daughter's accident and wanted to say a "big thank you" to the Plymstock Club who have been raising money for Poppy, in the hope of setting up a trust fund, since April.