A fund-raising campaign at Newark Rugby Club has amassed some £10,000 towards the Victoria Lyon Foundation which aims to help youngsters affected by brain injuries.
The fund was established to help the recovery of the 14-year-old teenager who was injured in a road traffic accident last November and had to be put into an induced coma.
Her courageous fight has been supported by team-mates who started a weekly ‘Song for Victoria’ on social media. They were backed up by other teams including members of the England’s women’s squad.
Led by coach Mark Dobb, the Newark girls produced a weekly song in an effort to support Victoria who spent time in the intensive care unit at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.
Despite her injuries, Victoria has remained very much part of the Newark team who went on to win the national under-15s title this season when they beat Winscombe, 17-14, in the final at Banbury.
Victoria continues to recover helped by a period of rehabilitation at Tadworth Court in Surrey, the centre run by the Children’s Trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury.
Dobb said Victoria’s presence at the matches had been inspirational. “The motivation she provided to the team was immense,” he said.
Victoria attended every match in the team’s march through the regional rounds before a national semi-final at Chesterfield and then the final. She was also able to attend a special day in the club’s history when a veteran’s team joined forces with local rivals Southwellto play the Parliamentarians at Twickenham. Victoria is pictured holding the Six Nations Trophy alongside former club president Ernie Brummitt.
The accident happened last November when Victoria and her parents – Howard and Judith – were travelling home after watching Newark’s first team play at Paviors on November 7.
Victoria had to spend two weeks in intensive care before being moved to the paediatric neurology ward.
For several weeks there was little change and her family were told it would be three months before they saw any sign of purposeful movement. But Victoria has slowly recovered since late December and is able to walk unaided.
Her progress has been helped by the Brain Injury Living Lite (Brill) team at the Queen’s Medical Centre, which works with children suffering the lasting effects of a brain injury.
Consultant neurology paediatrician Dr Gabriel Chow said Victoria was very ill when she was admitted. “She is a very strong- willed, determined girl,” said Dr Chow. “She was never going to give up. I am really proud of her.”