A Sussex family is back together as their teenage daughter came home yesterday (Wednesday, November 9) after spending three months in a coma in a French hospital.
Nell Robbins ended up on life support after catching pneumonia on a school trip to southern France in June, and nearly died three times in hospital.
But the ‘miracle’ 14-year-old girl fought back against all the odds and is slowly making a full recovery, with her able to return to her Rye Harbour home.
Mum Rachael Robbins was overwhelmed with emotion after months of heart-ache, but bringing Nell home ‘felt like Christmas’.
“I was so emotional as I said to my children I was going to get Nell. It was overwhelming, I can’t really describe it – it’s like a magical thing, it felt like Christmas,” she said.
Nell was on a trip with Rye College to a PGL activity centre in Ségries, north of Montpellier, when she became ill and rapidly declined until she was on life support.
Rachael and her father Ben Robbins stayed in France with Nell throughout the four months, with multiple near-death situations.
“Initially it was just total shock and horror and it gradually god worse as she was put on to the life support machine,” Ben recalled.
“It was just a kind of nightmare from start to finish – it’s the worst thing you can imagine happening to your daughter.”
Slowly but surely, Nell began to recover, starting with breathing independently to waking up.
Last month Nell was transferred to the Conquest Hospital in St Leonards and now she is back at her Harbour Road home with her younger brother Rudi and the rest of the family.
Nell has no apparent brain damage or disabilities from her ordeal and is expected to make a full recovery.
Rachael said it was a dream come true to bring her home and see her eat a proper meal, laughing and watching television with her best friend Cerys, who stayed overnight.
The family thanked everyone, their employers, friends and the community for supporting them and raising money for them through the last few months.
Rachael’s fiance Seth Newson added: “It’s a bit of a miracle we’re all home again, she’s a miracle girl.”
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