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Wallsend girl, seven, left with severe facial injuries after freak farm accident – Chronicle Live

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A young Wallsend girl was rushed to intensive care and left with severe facial injuries after a freak farm accident.

Alannah Maher was struck in the face by a heavy-duty chain while visiting her great uncle’s farm at Brough, Cumbria.

The seven-year-old was sat inside a tractor with her sister, Aoife, while her grandad towed parts of a chopped up tree on September 8 last year.

Alannah was struck in the face when the chain pulling the wood snapped and struck her face.

Within minutes of the 999 call, Great North Air Ambulance Service’s (GNAAS) paramedic and doctor team were on their way to the scene where they worked alongside the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).

After providing pain relief and treatment for Alannah’s facial injuries, she was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle.

Alannah’s dad Paul Maher said: “There were lacerations to her face, damage in and around her eye and she had a bleed in the front of her head.

“She lost quite a lot of bone in and around the front of her skull, but they took away all the bits that were broken and put a big plate in.”

Alannah Maher on a visit to the Great North Air Ambulance Service based in Langwathby
Alannah Maher on a visit to the Great North Air Ambulance Service based in Langwathby

Alannah was in intensive care for a week before staying in Ward 11 for five weeks, where she spent some of her time building an air ambulance out of Lego.

Mr Maher said: “We’ve got GNAAS to be thankful for and the RVI’s trauma team and intensive care guys and Ward 11, where Alannah spent the longest.”

Alannah has recovered well and her father said she is even louder and livelier than before.

She recently visited the GNAAS base in Langwathby with her family to thank Dr Andy Barrington and Paramedic Andy Dalton for their help.

Alannah Maher with sister Aoife and dad Paul
Alannah Maher with sister Aoife and dad Paul

After meeting the team, Alannah said that she thought the visit was “really good” and that she enjoyed sitting in the helicopter.

Mr Maher added: “We’re very, very thankful for them, it’s a great service.

“I don’t even like to contemplate to think where we’d be right now without GNAAS.”

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Dr Barrington said: “When you go to a child, there’s more than one person involved in the situation, as you have the child who you are treating but then you have to keep the parent updated about what’s going on and make sure they are also receiving the necessary care and closure.

“When we got there, we saw Alannah had massive lacerations through her face and near her eye, and she had a fracture.

“They were really horrendous injuries, so we gave her pain relief and made sure she was comfortable, while also explaining to her mum what was happening, before flying Alannah to the RVI as quickly as possible.

“I didn’t know what the outcome would be considering the damage to her face but she looks really well and it was great to see her again.”

Pilot Phil Lambert, Camilla Hodgson, Alannah Maher, Paul Maher, Aoife Maher, paramedic Andy Dalton and Dr Andy Barrington
Pilot Phil Lambert, Camilla Hodgson, Alannah Maher, Paul Maher, Aoife Maher, paramedic Andy Dalton and Dr Andy Barrington

Last year GNAAS responded to hundreds of call-outs and needed to raise more than £5m.

To find out how you can help, please visit www.gnaas.com or call 01325 487263.

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