Brave Ellie is on the mend

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THE parents of a teenage girl whose life was changed beyond all recognition after she suffered a severe brain injury in a car accident have spoken of their daughter’s “astounding bravery” as she battles to recover from her injuries.

Paul and Nicola Vardy have also thanked a number of specialists for their ongoing support during 15-year-old Ellie’s recovery.

The family, from Eckington, have seen firsthand the devastating effect a brain injury can have, after Ellie was left in a coma for two months when a car in which she was travelling as a passenger collided with another vehicle in September 2010.

Ellie remained an in-patient at Sheffield Children’s Hospital until February 2011, but is currently undergoing residential rehabilitation at Tadworth Court in Surrey – a facility for brain injured children run by national charity The Children’s Trust.

Speaking during Action for Brain Injury (ABI) Week, Ellie’s father, Paul Vardy, said: “Ellie’s life has changed beyond all recognition as a result of the crash and, while she is making great progress with her recovery, we know her life will never be the same again.

“Her bravery in facing the whole situation has been astounding, but her injuries have left her with significant cognitive and mobility problems and she now needs help with almost all of her everyday activities. Nicola and I have both been forced to give up work temporarily to care for Ellie, although we hope that with the continued support of specialists we will soon be able to return to work.”

The family’s lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, has arranged for a temporary bathroom annex to be added at their home, which will allow Ellie to be cared for downstairs until a more permanent solution can be arranged. They have also had the driveway levelled and paved to improve access for her.

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