Eight-year-old Addie Neilen has made a miracle recovery after she was impaled in the head by a stick while playing with her brother. Photo: Lauren Neilen
Eight-year-old Addie Neilen has made a miracle recovery after she was impaled in the head by a stick while playing with her brother. Photo: Lauren Neilen

Little girl’s miracle recovery after being impaled by stick

WARNING: Graphic

AN EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Sunshine Coast girl has made a miracle recovery after she was impaled in the head with a stick while playing with her brother at their hinterland home.

An innocent game turned horribly wrong when Addie Neilen ran in front of her older brother, Levi, who was throwing a stick. The 10cm branch hit Addie and became lodged in the side of her head.

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"Me and Levi were just playing and he was throwing sticks," Addie told the Today Show this morning.

"I ran around the corner and then that minute it just went in my head."

It took seven hours for specialist surgeons to remove the branch from Addie’s head. Photo: Lauren Neilen
It took seven hours for specialist surgeons to remove the branch from Addie’s head. Photo: Lauren Neilen

Speaking on national television, the children's mother Lauren said she forced herself to keep it together to keep the kids calm.

"For me it was just controlling my reaction," she said. "If she saw that I was so upset, I think she would have freaked out and realised how bad it really was."

"I was absolutely terrified, but for me I was just trying to keep the kids calm."

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Graphic photos show blood rushing from the side of Addie's head before she was rushed to Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

CT scans showed the stick had impaled through Addie’s skull. Photo: Lauren Neilen
CT scans showed the stick had impaled through Addie’s skull. Photo: Lauren Neilen

 

She was then rushed to the Queensland Children's Hospital for specialist treatment, after CT scans showed the stick had impaled through Addie's skull into the meninges that protect her brain, Ms Neilen said.

"When we got to the hospital and the CT scan results came through, that was probably when my head went to the worst case scenario," she said.

Addie was bouncing around like her normal self soon after she came out of surgery. Photo: Lauren Neilen
Addie was bouncing around like her normal self soon after she came out of surgery. Photo: Lauren Neilen

It took seven hours for a team of neurosurgeons to safely remove the branch from Addie's head, and the little girl was soon bouncing around at home like her normal, energetic self.

"By seven o clock that night I had to tell her to stop jumping and sit down on the bed," Ms Neilen said.

"She came out completely unscathed.

"She ran out the hospital as if nothing happened".

Sticks are now banned in the Neilen household. Photo: Lauren Neilen
Sticks are now banned in the Neilen household. Photo: Lauren Neilen

Eleven-year-old Levi said he still felt guilty about the horrific accident.

"I think I felt a 10 out of 10 guilty," he said.

"Dad came up the stairs, told me to lay down because I was as white as a ghost."

Ms Neilen said sticks were "absolutely" banned in their household from now on.



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