Medics treating girl hit by train hopeful she will regain use of arm

A GIRL whose arm was torn off in a horrific accident at a level crossing a week ago on Monday is still undergoing treatment in hospital.

Rebecca Huitson underwent extensive surgery at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary to reattach the limb after she was hit by an Edinburgh-to-London train at the level crossing behind Dudley Social Club shortly before 6.30pm.

The 12-year-old had been with three friends at the East Coast main line level crossing when what is decribed as a glancing blow by the 110mph train tore her arm off.

Doctors battled through the night to save the Seaton Burn College pupil’s arm and she has since undergone further surgery.

Her parents Julie and Lee Huitson, of Brunswick Village, have kept up a vigil by her bedside since she was admitted.

A spokesperson for the hospital said the initial six-hour surgery to reattach the limb had been a success.

After a second operation last Wednesday, medics confirmed that the re-attached arm remained viable, and Rebecca was said to be in a stable and comfortable condition the following day.

The spokesperson said: “Rebecca is awake and talking to her parents and nursing staff.

“She will require further surgery over the forthcoming weeks. Her progress will be monitored closely.

“Rebecca’s parents wish to express their thanks to the paramedics and the police force who acted efficiently at the scene.

“They also wanted to thank the nursing and medical staff at the hospital for Rebecca’s care so far.

“It is a difficult time for the family, and they have asked for their privacy to be respected at present.”

She said that sewing a completely severed limb back on was a rare and complex procedure which required not only surgical skill but also support from a multi-disciplinary team.

The hospital said yesterday that no further information regarding the youngster’s condition would be released.

A spokesperson for British Transport Police said: “Police officers attended the incident, which was reported to police at 6.30pm and is currently being treated as non-suspicious.

“A 12-year-old girl was found conscious but had suffered a severe arm injury to her left arm, which resulted in the severing of the limb.

“She was taken by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, where she currently remains in a stable condition.

“It is believed that she was in the area, which is near Dudley bridleway foot crossing, with three friends of a similar age, when she was struck a glancing blow by the passing train.

“The rail accident investigation Branch of the Department for Transport has been informed.

“Media are asked to respect the privacy of the family during this difficult time.”

Seaton Burn College principal Alison Shaw added: “We regularly talk to our students about risks and about making sure that they stay safe.

“These happen on a number of topics, and all the students have certainly had safety briefings through their time here.

“I’m currently talking with police about what we can do moving forwards in relation to this specific aspect of children’s safety.

“This week we have all been thinking about Rebecca and making sure we care for our students.

“We are trying to make sure that the routine is normal as that helps the children best of all to manage with this kind of thing.

“We’ve planned for targeted work to help them come to terms with what’s happened.”