The DOTING parents of a teenager left brain damaged following a horrific car smash have spoken of her ‘astounding bravery’ for the first time.
Paul and Nicola Vardy’s daughter Ellie, aged 15, was left in a coma for two months after the road smash in September 2010.
She spent five months in Sheffield Children’s Hospital where she was treated at the Neurosciences Unit.
Ellie is now undergoing residential rehabilitation at Tadworth Court in Surrey, a facility for brain-injured children run by The Children’s Trust.
Paul and Nicola, from Eckington, spoke during Action for Brain Injury Week, an awareness week from May 9 to 15, organised by Headway – the Brain Injury Association, thanked all those who have helped their daughter.
Paul said: “Ellie’s life has changed beyond all recognition as a result of the crash and while she is making great progress we know her life will never be the same.
“Her bravery has been astounding, but her injuries have left her with significant cognitive and mobility problems.
“Nicola and I have been forced to give up work although we hope with the continued support of specialists we will soon be able to return.”
The family have been supported by the serious injury team at city law firm Irwin Mitchell which has organised adaptations to their home.
The firm has teamed up with brain injury charity Headway to highlight the dangers of serious head injuries and the devastating impact they can have.
Paul added: “The last eight months have been extremely difficult for all our family and it has been hard to see any sort of light at the end of the tunnel.
“Flashes of her old personality are starting to emerge and this gives us the strength and determination to encourage and support her.
“The support we have received from family and friends, Ellie’s case manager and specialists at Irwin Mitchell, Tadworth Court and Sheffield Children’s Hospital have been fantastic and we couldn’t have got through this without them.”