A SCHOOLGIRL who was blinded by an airbag in a car smash just days before her 16th birthday is bravely inspiring neighbours to launch a fundraising mission to buy her specialist equipment.
Kelly Green was a passenger in a car being driven by her dad Geoff along a rain-soaked road in Sheffield when the vehicle flipped onto its roof - and the airbag designed to save her hit her squarely in the eyes.
Medics told her family the sight in her right eye is gone for good - and there’s a small hope she may one day be able to see again from her left eye.
Speaking exclusively to The Star, her mum Bev Green said: “You just don’t think an airbag could cause as much damage as this.
“Both of the airbags went off in the crash, and for Kelly it hit her straight in the eyes.
“If you look at the pictures of her afterwards it is like a mask of bruises from the top of her eyebrows to the base of her nose where it has hit.
“The doctors are not 100 per cent sure what happened, but they’re surmising the blindness was caused by the airbag.”
Kelly’s postman dad Geoff, 47, was driving in wet weather along Blackstock Road in Gleadless when the car slipped, hit a pothole and then the central reservation, and flipped on to its roof.
Kelly had to be cut out of the car and taken to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for surgery.
Doctors are continuing operations in the hope that, one day, the Eckington School pupil will see again from her left eye.
Bev, 49, from Eckington, said: “Doctors more or less told us there and then that her sight wasn’t very good - you can’t imagine our reaction.
“She will definitely not get her sight back in the right eye and her left eye doesn’t look promising, but we hope there could be a chance.”
The family say they have been told of other accidents on the same road - and that solicitors are looking into the possibility of a legal case against the car manufacturer.
Their lives have been turned upside down but Kelly’s positive attitude keeps them going.
Neighbours are rallying round with ‘unbelievable’ support to fundraise for specialist equipment. Kelly will also need a guide dog, and money raised in the next talent show event will boost Guide Dogs For The Blind.
Now 16, she is learning Braille, touch-typing and learning to walk with a cane.
Bev added: “It hasn’t affected Kelly, she is still the same, the only difference is she can’t see.
“She has just got on with life, she is absolutely amazing.
“Kelly is not letting it stop her from doing whatever she wants to do.”