Harrogate woman who lost leg after tractor crash hails support of charity Day One

  • Video report by Jon Hill

A woman who lost a leg after suffering injuries likened to a bomb blast when she was run over by a tractor said the ordeal has made her more "resilient".

Lucie Maguire, of Kirkby Malzeard, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, was standing by the side of the road after getting out of her mother's car following a breakdown when she was hit by the vehicle in January 2021.

Then aged 19, she was dragged along the road by its 10-tonne trailer, suffering catastrophic injuries to her leg, a broken back and damage to her internal organs.

Surgeons had to amputate her leg and the right side of her pelvis.

She spent a month in a coma and more than 500 days in hospital in total. At one point she said goodbye to her parents, convinced she would not survive.

But almost three years later Lucie, now 22, says she is learning to live again.

“At times I felt like the pain was never going to end," she said. "There was no light at the end of tunnel. The hospital became my home.

"The staff became my family. It got to the stage where I didn’t want to leave. I never thought I would enjoy life again. Every obstacle I overcame, I felt immensely proud of myself. Slowly I felt more positive and found strength I never knew I had.

"I’ve gained my independence. If I’ve got through this, I can get through anything. It’s made me a more resilient person. Before I would have given up."

Lucie's life changed on 27 January 2021, as she was being driven home from work by her mother, Sue.

When their car began making "funny noises" and filling with black smoke, Sue pulled over on Fountains Road, between Ripley and Bishop Thornton and Lucie got out.

Lucie said: "I saw bright headlights coming towards me and thought it was someone who could help us. That’s when I was hit by a tractor and dragged under its 10-tonne trailer.

"I was stuck under there going round continuously with the wheels and it spat me out a bit further down the road."

Lucie Maguire pictured before her accident - and in a hospital bed at LGI Credit: Lucie Maguire/Maguire Family

Lucie remained conscious throughout the ordeal, telling her mother at the scene, and her father via mobile phone, that she loved them and expected to die.

She said: "I felt like I’d been run over so many times. I remember not feeling in pain. My right leg just felt uncomfortable. I wanted someone to straighten it for me as I couldn’t.

"I told my parents how much I loved them. I accepted I was probably going to die because surely nobody survives what I’d just been through."

She was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary – home to the region’s Major Trauma Centre – and placed in an induced coma.

Her parents said goodbye at her bedside as her internal bleeding was so severe, medics feared she would die.

Recalling the moments after she woke from the coma, Lucie said: "I couldn’t talk, I struggled to breathe, and I was in so much pain. I had no idea about the severity of my injuries.

"It was a few days before they told me I had no right leg. They had to amputate. The right side of my pelvis was gone too and I had open wounds. I had a lot of internal damage. A lot of my internal organs no longer worked.

"The only way the doctor could explain my injuries was to compare me to someone who had been blown up in Afghanistan. I remember thinking, 'Wow, this is serious'."

Having survived the initial trauma, it was unclear whether she would be able to sit up or stand again.

But specialist teams liaised with military medics to rebuild Lucie’s body and, by the time she left hospital on 28 June 2022, she was able to sit up and walk using supports.

Lucie Maguire spent 518 days in the trauma centre at Leeds General Infirmary after an accident that saw her right leg amputated. Credit: Day One Trauma Support

After leaving hospital she had to live in a makeshift bedroom in the restaurant of her parents’ pub, The Queen's Head, as she was unable to use stairs to access the family home above.

She now has her own bungalow in the village and uses a power-assisted wheelchair to live as independently as she can.

Lucie has been supported by the charity Day One Trauma Support, who she described as "amazing".

"I feel like they saved my life. "I had never thought about benefits as I’m a young woman and expected to work all my life. I didn’t know how it all worked and what I needed to put in place when I left hospital.

"I remember speaking to someone from Day One about what I was entitled to, which was a massive relief for me as I wouldn’t have known where to start.

"I grieve [for] my body, and I grieve for my old life. It was not easy. But it’s important to know that there’s something out there for everyone."

Lucie Maguire and mum Sue Credit: John Clifton

Mum Sue is full of praise for her brave, resilient, and positive daughter.

She said: "She never complains, she never grumbles. She’s just a superstar."

Lucie, who was named Unsung Hero in last year's Yorkshire Young Achievers Awards, has now pledged to raise money for Day One's Christmas appeal.

Day One chief exeutive Lucy Nickson said Lucie’s story of recovery was "truly inspiring".

"People are struggling financially during a cost-of-living crisis, and the impact is only compounded when a family member suffers a sudden catastrophic injury and faces a long recovery journey, often with a disability and reduced income," she said.

"That’s why our appeal is so important so that we can reach everyone who needs our help – people like Lucie."

North Yorkshire Police has confirmed that an investigation into the incident has concluded and that the driver will not face any charges.