A teenager who suffered horrific injuries after being thrown over the handlebars of her bike said a helmet saved her life.
Shayla Hervery, 14, was riding down a steep hill when she was thrown forwards from her seat.
Among her many injuries, she suffered a fractured nose, a bleed between her skull and tissue and a tear to her liver.
A Welsh Ambulance Service paramedic, who came to the schoolgirl’s aid, told the family that Shayla would probably not be alive if she had not worn her helmet, reports Wales Online .
Shayla said her mum, Sue, insisted that she wear the helmet or she would not be allowed to go on the family bike ride on May 6.
“Just before leaving the house we were getting ready and I said to my mum, ‘I don’t want to wear my helmet – I look like an idiot.’
“My mum said ‘If you don’t wear it, you’re not going on the bike ride’.
“I complained and tried to give valid reasons why it was not needed, but reluctantly I listened.”
The family were two-and-a-half hours into the bike ride, which took them through Cwmcarn Forest in Abercarn, near Newport, South Wales, when disaster struck.
“We were about five minutes away from home and we decided to take a short cut,” added Shayla.
“Just before going down a very steep hill, my mum told everyone not to go too fast.
“But did I listen? No. I was going down the hill I was trying to catch up with my brother-in-law and cousin.
“The next minute I was on the floor covered in blood screaming in agony, with my mum holding my arms, my brother-in-law holding my head and my cousin holding my legs to try to keep me still just in case I had broken anything.”
Shayla’s mum, Sue, from Abercarn, said the extent of her daughter’s injuries was “horrific”.
“It was a very frightening experience,” said Sue.
“I had only just finished my paediatric first aid training and never did I think I would have to use it on my own child.
“There was blood running everywhere and her brother-in-law was holding her head not knowing if her skull was still together.
“At one point, after the paramedics arrived, she didn’t know who we were. That was so scary.”
Shayla, who said she cannot recall anything that happened one hour before or after the accident, was taken by ambulance to A&E at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.
She was then transferred to the paediatric intensive care unit of the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff.
Sue added: “When we got to the intensive care unit, I had to wait in the waiting area, while the nurses sorted Shayla out.
“The nurse came and got me and said that Shayla was awake and was asking for me, so I went straight to Shayla’s side and held her hand.
“The first thing she did was thank me for making her wear her helmet.
“When I saw her injuries, I knew then making her put her helmet on that day was the right call. She may think it looks stupid but that helmet protected her that day. It’s not a fashion accessory.”
Both Sue and Shayla praised both the Welsh Ambulance Service and the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for their expert care.
During our stay at the hospital, all the doctors and nurses were very kind and caring. They kept us up to date on Shayla’s wellbeing,” Sue said.
“No words can really express how amazing the care that the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital staff have given to my child and many others before us and undoubtedly afterwards too.
“They are all truly amazing and I will never be able to thank them enough for the care they gave Shayla and my family.”
Shayla added: “They all made me happy and helped me smile, the whole time I was there. We are all forever grateful for the endless work which they do every day of the year.
“And big thanks to my mum for always being there for me. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be here today.”
Despite being discharged from hospital just a week after the incident, she still needs checks on her right arm and teeth which have not fully healed.
Original Article: The Mirror