An 11-year-old girl nearly bled to death after being impaled on her bicycle handlebars, her mother has said.
Alanna Casement, 11, lost more than half her body’s blood as a result of the “freak accident” which occurred at Castlewellan Forest Park in Northern Ireland last weekend.
The girl had to be airlifted to hospital as blood spurted “like a fountain” from her thigh.
Alannah’s mother Colette Casement paid tribute to the girl’s friends who saved her life by acting quickly, as well as paramedics.
“A paramedic was there pretty quickly who wasn’t even working at time,” Colette explained to the Daily Mirror newspaper.
“The paramedics and the police were amazing but they said she had to be airlifted and she was at the [Royal Victoria Hospital] in seven minutes.”
“There’s just so much to take in, but it seems that the fact it happened close to the caravans where our friends were looking after her that they were able to stem the blood flow,” Colette said.
“It’s not clear if she would have made it if she had to go in an ambulance which would have been more than half an hour.”
Alannah, from Annacloy near Ballynahinch, Co Down, came off the bike last Saturday and a major vein was severed when the whole handlebar went into her thigh.
“Apparently if she’d been away off around the lake things could have been very, very different,” Colette explained.
“It sounds incredible but the doctors have said she lost around half or more of the blood in her body. She’s a very lucky girl.”
Police, the Air Support Unit and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service were all involved in the frantic operation to save Alannah.
“Realising the seriousness of the girls injury, the officers then asked for the Air Support Unit to be tasked immediately,” a PSNI spokesperson said.
Alana is recovering in hospital where she is in a serious but stable condition.
“This could have ended in tragedy and I am just glad the officers, both the local neighbourhood and response officers and the crew from the PSNI helicopter, were able to do their bit to help save this young girl’s life.”