PSNI officers have been hailed as heroes for helping save the life of an 11-year-old girl who was seriously injured after falling off her bike at Castlewellan Show.
Alanna Casement had been riding a friend’s bike on Saturday, when in a freak accident she lost control and the “turned up handlebars penetrated her leg” damaging her femoral artery.
Officers rushed to her assistance and administered first aid until the paramedics arrived.
Because of the youngster’s extensive blood loss — she lost about half her blood — a PSNI helicopter was alerted to take her to hospital where she underwent surgery.
Collette Casement, 43, said her daughter moved out of intensive care on Monday night, adding: “When this happens it puts life in perspective.”
The mother-of-three from Annacloy said: “I wasn’t there when the accident happened. I found out when Alanna’s friend phoned me and said she had been in an accident. She then passed the phone to a policeman who told me more. He said Alanna was being airlifted to hospital because of her blood loss.”
Mrs Casement said she “cannot put into words” how thankful she is to the PSNI.
“They have been fantastic, along with the ambulance service and the people at Castlewellan Show,” she said.
“We have been told that if those people had not been there we would not have Alanna now. Alanna owes her life to them.”
Alanna remains in hospital where her condition is now described as stable.
“She has got many of her tubes out now and is able to communicate,” said Mrs Casement. “But she is very tired because she lost so much blood.
“She is a very lucky wee girl to be here today. Her two older sisters are looking forward to getting her home. We had a holiday coming up, but having Alanna home and well is all we want.”
Inspector Mark Peters, from Newcastle Neighbourhood Team, said: “This could have ended in tragedy and I am just glad the officers, both the local neighbourhood and response officers and the crew from the PSNI helicopter, were able to do their bit to help save this young girl’s life.
“We would all like to wish her a speedy recovery. As police officers, one of our main priorities is to keep people safe and this is another example of how the PSNI and our partner agencies work together to do this. As an officer, being able to help someone in this way makes our job worthwhile.”
Ruth McNamara, ambulance service area manager, praised the actions of all concerned in the operation.
She said: “The rapid response paramedic who arrived on the scene has been fulsome in his praise for these officers and we are delighted that the co-operation between the two services has had such a positive outcome.”