Prayers an­swered as Hol­lie re­cov­ers

Te Puke Times - - News - By LEAH TEBBUTT

There is a long road ahead but a mirac­u­lous full re­cov­ery is ex­pected for young crash vic­tim Hol­lie Snell.

The 16-year-old was in­volved in a two-car fa­tal crash on Novem­ber 18. She suf­fered head in­juries so se­vere her fam­ily was told she would not sur­vive.

Due to Hol­lie’s wishes, the fam­ily spent the first week pre­par­ing to donate her or­gans, her heart­felt story shared on the front page of the Bay of Plenty Times Week­end on Novem­ber 24.

But after day 12 in hos­pi­tal Hol­lie, show­ing signs of im­prove­ment, was taken off life sup­port and moved to the high de­pen­dency unit.

Now, after 23 days in hos­pi­tal, Hol­lie has reached level two of the re­cov­ery stages of crit­i­cal brain in­juries.

“Hol­lie has now been moved down to the neuro ward in Waikato Hos­pi­tal. She is hav­ing some re­sponses to com­mands such as squeez­ing your hand, mov­ing a leg, small pe­ri­ods where her eyes are open and can fo­cus on us,” Hol­lie’s mother Dale said in a Face­book post.

The var­i­ous lev­els of coma range from very deep, where a pa­tient will show no re­sponse to pain, to shal­low lev­els where a pa­tient can re­spond to pain by move­ment or open­ing their eyes or may make some re­sponse to speech when they hear it.

The fam­ily hope in the next three weeks Hol­lie will be trans­ferred to Auck­land to the brain in­jury cen­tre.

“We ex­pect a full re­cov­ery for Hol­lie, how­ever, it may take con­sid­er­able time.

“We now have a slightly clearer path­way but we are also fully aware that this is a roller­coaster jour­ney, full of loads of one-step-for­ward and two-steps­back mo­ments,” Dale said.

Hol­lie’s sis­ter, Larnie Wood­ward, told NZME the fam­ily was pray­ing for her full re­cov­ery as quick as pos­si­ble.

“We are ob­vi­ously ec­static that she’s come this far and we are ex­cited to watch her progress.

“It’s a mir­a­cle she is alive and we feel as though our prayers and ev­ery­one else’s have been an­swered.”

Hol­lie is still breath­ing through an as­sisted tra­cheotomy but the fam­ily hope she will be weaned off that this week.

Dale said oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy and physio had started to stim­u­late Hol­lie’s senses and help with re­cov­ery.

“[They] have started with small things like show­ing her fa­mil­iar pics, ask­ing her to re­spond to our voices via small move­ments and get­ting her up­right via a tilt ta­ble ev­ery few days,” she said.

Hol­lie is be­ing feed through a gas­tric tube in her nose and has long pe­ri­ods of sleep, which is vi­tal to her re­cov­ery.

Her mother said those who vis­ited should hold her hand or talk about fa­mil­iar things, help­ing Hol­lie con­nect to her world.

More than three weeks ago, the teen was trav­el­ling be­tween Ro­torua and her home­town, Te Puke, when she was in­volved in a fa­tal crash on State High­way 33 at Okere Falls.

An oc­cu­pant of the other car died at the scene.

Larnie said at the time that as long at there was hope the fam­ily would hold on.

“We’ve been told many times this is un­sur­viv­able but here she is fight­ing her best to sur­vive and things keep chang­ing every­day.

“We don’t know what’s go­ing to hap­pen but we know the prayers and sup­port from around the coun­try have had some power.”

Dale said the fam­ily was a long way from an easy path­way but they were do­ing well.

“We truly ap­pre­ci­ate and love each and ev­ery one of you and really feel in our hearts your con­tin­ued prayers, heal­ing en­ergy and pos­i­tive vibes.”

PHO­TOS / SUP­PLIED

Hol­lie Snell’s fam­ily is now ex­pect­ing the teen to make a full re­cov­ery.

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