A toddler hit by a car close to her nursery in Aldershot has returned home more than three months after the accident.
Tilly Lambe was two years old when she was struck by a Peugeot 206 near her house in Belle Vue Road on March 23. She was flown to hospital where she was placed in an induced coma for a week.
After months of rehabilitation, and encouraged by hundreds of well-wishers, Tilly was brought back to Aldershot last Thursday where she will continue to receive medical support to help her relearn to walk, as she currently has to use a frame to assist her.
Her mother Jessica, along with her husband Alan, from whom she is separated, stayed by Tilly’s bedside – first in Southampton General Hospital and then in Tadworth Children’s Trust in east Surrey, throughout her recovery.
Tilly even celebrated her third birthday in the Southampton ward in April.
Mrs Lambe, who has since moved to Campbell Fields in Aldershot, said she had been given a room to sleep in while her daughter was in intensive care, but then stayed by her bedside when she woke up, adopting a shift system with her husband of two days on, two days off.
“Sleeping by her bedside was horrible,” she said.
“It was in a ward and it was noisy and she wasn’t sleeping very well. In Tadworth it was much nicer as she had her own room and I had mine.”
Although Tilly bears few visible marks as a reminder of the accident, she has had to learn to talk and eat again and will be assisted to get walking again.
She also has a ‘tremor’ that doctors say may be a permanent condition.
Mrs Lambe, who does not blame the young man who was driving the car in a road where visibility is poor at times, said she was loving having Tilly back home, where she had been reunited with her two older brothers Daniel and Alfie.
She said: “It’s nice but it’s weird. Her day would be mapped out at hospital but now there’s nothing and I’m back doing the school run.”
Tilly will return to Maple Vue Children’s Centre in September before starting at Belle Vue Infant School next year but will need to be eased back into her old life as she tires quickly.
Mrs Lambe thanked Tilly’s supporters, including those who followed her progress on her Facebook group and sent teddies to the hospital.
She said the cuddly toys were now ‘everywhere’ but most will be donated to Lauren’s Wishes, a Farnborough charity that supports children threatened by life-threatening illness.
“I’ll let her pick her favourites,” explained Mrs Lambe, who said the support had helped the family through the difficult times.
She also thanked family members, the air ambulance, the members of the public who looked after Tilly before the paramedics arrived, her friend Charlie Brown, North Town councillors and Lauren’s Wishes which paid for iPads for her sons so that they could stay in contact with her while she was at the hospital.
The community raised money at a pub fun day and many signed a petition calling for speed limits in the area of the accident to be reduced to 20mph.
Mrs Lambe plans to take Tilly to personally thank the air ambulance crew who saved her life this summer and will hold a celebratory street party.
Hampshire police is continuing to investigate the incident and no arrests have been made.