Third Op for Smash Survivor; FOUR-YEAR-OLD LIBBY RECOVERS AFTER SURGERY TO STABILISE HER NECK

Article excerpt

Byline: By KATY SIMPSON

DOCTORS operated on little Libby Clement for the third time last night since the horror crash she miraculously survived.

They are desperately trying to stabilise her neck after the four-year-old suffered major fractures in the smash which killed her nanny, Moira Ward, 43.

Libby is lucky to be alive after the family's Mazda collided with a lorry carrying a 40-tonne load of timber on the A696 at Milbourne, near Ponteland.

Her parents Kathryn Clement, 37, and husband Ian, 41, of Gosforth, Newcastle, are counting their blessings after being told by colleagues at Newcastle General Hospital where they are both doctors, that they are amazed Libby lived.

They have not left her side and say she is still very poorly in the intensive care unit.

Speaking from hospital last night, Ian said: "I have been in hospital all day. Libby is going back into theatre this evening. It's part of on-going difficulties in stabilising the neck fracture. She's still very poorly, but she has been a lot more awake. She's saying very little, she is able to speak but we haven't got much further than yes and no.

"She has a halo on to stabilise her neck and a lot of metal tubing around the head which is uncomfortable and restrictive.

"This will be the third operation she has had. She had a fairly big one on Monday. She was in theatre for four hours yesterday and she is back in theatre today," said Ian, who is a consultant in critical care at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and the General, where his wife works in the Graingerville family planning clinic. …

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