Tent stake lodges in trainee teacher’s head in freak Fleadh Cheoil accident
A TRAINEE teacher suffered a serious head injury in a freak camping accident when a steel tent stake lodged deep in her skull.
Laura Connick (22), of Coolree, Wexford, is recovering in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin after an operation to remove the stake, which became embedded in her head during a camping trip at the Fleadh Cheoil in Cavan last week.
The injured woman found her tent torn down after returning from visiting the toilet at 5am.
Her father, community warden Mick Connick, said: "She and a friend were trying to pitch the tent when one of the steel stakes that was holding the tent down sprung up and got stuck in her head over her ear."
He said the stake penetrated his daughter's head to a depth of 4cm.
Ambulance personnel on the campsite were alerted and Ms Connick was rushed to Cavan General Hospital, from where she was transferred to Beaumont in Dublin.
"Laura had done first aid and knows how to work a defibrillator so she told them not to take it out and to make sure she didn't fall asleep. She knew what to do," said Mr Connick.
"It was just a complete freak accident. She was operated on that morning and the stake was removed at 10am. She was conscious for the whole thing."
Mr Connick said both he and his wife Patricia feared the worst when they received a call at 5am to tell them their daughter had suffered an accident.
"We feared the worst, we didn't know what was going on. Any phone call at that hour of the morning is distressing. Then we had to figure out how to get to Cavan."
On their way, a nurse in Cavan informed them their daughter was being transferred to Beaumont so they met her there instead.
He said his daughter was recovering well now and was expected to be discharged next week following tests.
"She is okay and is over the worst of it. She is out of all danger and has had her CAT and MRI scans. We have been up and down to see her every day.
"She was out for a meal with us on Saturday afternoon near the hospital and was in good form and is texting us regularly."
He said Ms Connick had completed her teaching exams and was hoping to get a job.