ELEVEN years ago, doctors feared Evesham schoolgirl Stefanie Mace-Gould may have serious brain damage from horrific head injuries after she was hit by a car.
The teenager spent two weeks in a coma at Birmingham Children’s Hospital fighting for her life and doctors were even forced to remove part of her skull.
Her family were told she might never be able to walk, talk or even feed herself.
But five-and-a-half weeks later, she astounded doctors with her remarkable recovery, leaving hospital and returning to a mainstream school wearing a specially adapted protective helmet.
Now the 24-year-old, who lives in Bidford, has celebrated her wedding to Anthony Gould at Dumbleton Hall, ensuring her story has a happy ending after all.
Mrs Mace-Gould attributes her miraculous recovery to the sterling work of the medical team. She said: “I was in a coma in intensive care and then moved up to the neurology ward. I had a lot of physio when I was on that ward – that’s why I was able to come out so quickly.
“Doctors thought I wouldn’t be able to walk or talk or feed myself. They didn’t expect me to be walking out of hospital, let alone be able to do everything for myself.
They said I was a miracle.”
The former St Egwin’s Middle and Prince Henry’s High School pupil does not remember much of what happened in May 2001 when she was hit by a car and rolled off the bonnet before hitting her head on the kerb on Pershore Road, Hampton, Evesham.
She had to have five operations on her skull and had broken cheek and sinus bones, as well as hip and other injuries. Her determination to recover paid off and she went on to gain eight GCSEs, a BTEC in performing art at Stratford College and a degree at Worcester University.
But despite her miraculous recovery, Stefanie, who now works as a nursery nurse in Stratford, still bears the scars from the accident.
She said: “I still see a physiologist.
I’ve got a acquired brain injury so I can’t work full-time. I get tired very quickly. But I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help I’ve had from those doctors in Leamington Rehabilitation Hospital. At school I ran for the county and played every sport. The doctors say it probably contributed to how I’ve recovered.”
Her father John said: The speed of her recovery surprised everybody. She has done so well to get to where she is today. She had a lovely wedding day and has just returned from honeymoon in Barbados.”