A Bradford youngster who suffered horrific injuries in a car crash that killed her father is now raising money for the medics who helped her walk again.

Eight-year-old Alice Mattick, who was the front-seat passenger in a van driven by her father Robert, was confined to a wheelchair after the accident in Garforth, near Leeds, last June.

Doctors feared that the lively youngster would never walk again after losing parts of her thighs when bones broke through her skin.

Peter Millner, the consultant orthpaedic surgeon at St James's Hospital who operated on Alice, said: "We thought she might lose her legs but we were able to repair the damage."

Now Alice's progress is amazing even the doctors who've treated her.

"Her knees are moving very well indeed. In fact, she's done miraculously well - far better than we hoped possible," said Mr Millner.

"She is a very brave little girl and she has coped amazingly well considering how badly smashed both her legs were.

"She has already had five trips to the operating theatre."

Her younger brother Harry broke several bones but his injuries were less severe.

Within two months of the horror smash, however, brave Alice was already starting to walk and took part in a sponsored swim.

Now the Clayton Primary School pupil has raised hundreds of pounds for Ward 27 where she was treated.

Her mum, Katy Mattick, 42, said: "It's a miracle that she's walking again."

Alice has also been ski-ing and enjoyed her first horse-riding lesson. "She is doing well at school and is ahead of her class in reading," said Mrs Mattick.

"But the head injuries did affect her concentration and moods and she now has no sense of time. She literally doesn't know whether it is day or night."

Mr Millner praised the family's courage. "They have been through so much. We at the hospital are full of admiration for the way they have coped."

Sister Joy Barrowclough from Ward 27 said: "We are all delighted that Alice is continuing with her recovery and that she has chosen us for her fundraising efforts.

"She is a very brave little girl and we are all looking forward to see her again."

The family have also raised funds to help children affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

e-mail: anila.baig


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