Islander lucky to be alive after severe head trauma
A COMBINATION of doctors’ instincts and pioneering treatment helped save the life of a woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a night out in Town.
Sophie Lundon, now 20, was out with friends in September 2021 when she fainted and hit her head on the ground.
She was scanned at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital and after a haematoma was revealed between the skull and the brain, it was decided that, with no time to fly to Southampton, the procedure to drain it should happen locally.
It was the first time such a procedure had been used in a remote hospital, followed by a full neurological recovery.
‘When I came round and was told about what happened I was just so overwhelmed. I didn’t really process it, it was hard to believe,’ she said.
She said she remembered nothing from when she collapsed. Her first memory was waking up in a hospital bed in Southampton.
‘From what people have told me, I had been sat on the floor, then I stood up to have some of my vape, and that was when I fainted. I briefly remember being at my friend’s house beforehand, but that’s it.’
Following her arrival at the PEH’s emergency department in the early hours of the morning, Miss Lundon underwent tests. A CT brain scan showed a large left extradural haematoma, which could have resulted in death if left untreated.
Following the scan Miss Lundon’s condition quickly deteriorated. The pupil in her left eye dilated and she became drowsy.
Pictures of her scan were sent to the neurosurgical centre in Southampton where it was decided that, due to the urgency of the situation and the immediate risk to Miss Lundon’s life, the haematoma should be drained in Guernsey immediately using a special intraosseous needle.
According to a trauma case report written by the doctors responsible for carrying out the treatment, it was the first time that such a procedure had been used in a remote hospital, followed by a full neurological recovery.
Miss Lundon was transferred to Southampton after the initial procedure and underwent a further operation. She returned home to Guernsey after eight days, and was able to resume her job at beauty salon Sephora just two months later.
Miss Lundon added that her sense of self and perception of life had been different since the injury, but she was very grateful for the care that she had received from her family, employer and the medical staff involved in her recovery.
‘Both sides of my family have been very supportive of me, and Sephora have also been very understanding.
‘I’m grateful to the doctors, and I’m glad that my case will help with future cases,’ she said.