Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Alton Towers victim 'recovering'

Published 10/06/2015

The Smiler ride at Alton Towers
The Smiler ride at Alton Towers

A 17-year-old girl whose leg was amputated after a rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers initially needed a machine to keep her alive in intensive care, her brother said.

Leah Washington was one of four people seriously hurt last week when two carriages collided on the Smiler ride.

The teenager, from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, had her left leg amputated above the knee and suffered a fractured hand in the incident.

Leah's brother, Luke Washington, said she was "heavily sedated" when he visited her in hospital shortly after the crash.

He told BBC WM: "She was in intensive care so she had machines keeping her going.

"It was only the day after they took her off that and she was back to breathing on her own.

"She had a rapid recovery. Each day has gone by and she has improved and improved."

Speaking about Leah's current condition, Mr Washington said: " Compared to last week when I got to hospital and saw her for the first time, it's a world of difference.

"It's amazing to see her. It was yesterday I walked into the room for the first time that day and she was stood up. To see her from the condition she was in to now being stood up is great."

He added " We've all been there for Leah but she's the one who's kept us going. She's just done amazing. I don't know where she's got this strength from but it's really opened our eyes."

Leah, who is a One Direction fan, will receive a recorded video message from the band and backstage concert tickets.

The band are set to record the message after a Twitter campaign, #Get1DToLeah, urged fans to help get them to contact her.

Leah's friend, Sara Stuart, revealed the good news on Twitter, writing: "I am delighted to tell you all Leah will be receiving a video message off the boys and backstage passes to one of their concerts when she has recovered! We couldn't have done it without you all! Thank you again!"

One Direction's Louis Tomlinson also tweeted Leah, writing: "Thinking about you Leah & hoping you are home in South Yorkshire soon Xx."

Leah, her 18-year-old boyfriend Joe Pugh, 27-year-old old hotel assistant manager Daniel Thorpe from Buxton in Derbyshire, and 20-year-old Vicky Balch, from Leyland in Lancashire, have been described as the most seriously injured in the crash

Mr Pugh was treated for two broken knees and extensive hand injuries, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust said.

Ms Balch's solicitor said she suffered potentially life-changing injuries and is expected to make a ''substantial claim for damages'' to support her recovery.

The four are being treated at the Royal Stoke University Hospital and the University Hospital Coventry.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph