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24-hour walk to raise funds for unit that saved child’s life after quad bike accident

A 24-hour walk is set to take place to raise funds for the specialist Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Royal Victoria Hospital.

The fundraiser has been organised to support those who helped save 5-year-old Hannah Smyth’s life after an accident.

On Tuesday, May 12th, 2020, a road traffic collision between a quad and tractor occurred on the Whitepark Road, Ballycastle, which claimed the lives of her mother and 3-year-old sister, Bethany. 

Hannah was left severely injured as a result. Within minutes, NIAS crews from Ballycastle and further afield attended the scene of the incident.


On a JustGiving page, Rev John Stanbridge said: “After a period of emergency treatment, NIAS members made the crucial decision to blue light her to Coleraine A&E as soon as possible, rather than wait for HEMS.”

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“In my opinion, this decision undoubtedly was the best course of action to ensure Hannah’s stabilisation, since HEMS was delayed due to another ‘shout’ down the country.”

After further treatment by Coleraine A&E, Hannah was evacuated by Coastguard Helicopter to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Royal Victoria Children’s Hospital, Belfast, where she remained for 6 weeks receiving care from the PICU Team.

On Tuesday, June 16th, Hannah was discharged to the RVH Paul Ward for further rehabilitation, the note added.

“As the Smyth’s family minister, who was present at the scene, I know from first-hand experience that the decisions made by our NIAS, A&E, Coastguard & PICU professionals undoubted saved Hannah’s life.”

“Indeed, the PICU Team commented to me, that very day, they were impressed by the pre-admission care Hannah had received.”

“Recently, I was approached by one of the NIAS crews who were in attendance that day, to seek Hanna’s father’s permission for them to organise a fundraiser in support of the Royal Victoria Hospital’s PICU.”

“It was with no hesitation her Daddy agreed and so ‘Hannah’s PICU Fundraiser’ was birthed.”

“Can I encourage you to support their 24hr Walk to raise funds for our only specialist Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the RVH and can I take this opportunity to thank all NIAS staff for the incredible work you perform on a day-to-day and hour-by-hour basis.”

“Thank you. The Lord bless you all. Keep up the good work!” the note concluded.


The walk will take place from July 25th to July 26th – for further information or to donate, click here.

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