Karleigh’s Race to Recovery

After a horrific car accident, Karleigh Neild was flown to Wellington Hospital by the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter.
Your support ensured she got the care she needed – FAST.
When seven-year-old Karleigh’s little sister, Bryanna, turned five earlier this year there was cause for celebration. Not just because Bryanna was heading off to school, but because last year Karleigh missed out on the party. Instead, she was lying in Wellington Hospital’s intensive care unit.
On the 9th of September 2013, Karleigh and her family’s au pair were driving into Hawera to buy Bryanna a birthday present. They never made it.
“I was at the doctor’s with Bryanna who had chicken pox when I heard the fire engines and emergency vehicles racing past,” recalls the girls’ mother, Robyn Moir. “A friend told me there had been an accident with a car vs bus but I never for one moment thought of Karleigh.”
But Karleigh was in the car and suffered two broken femurs, two broken arms and a broken collarbone. Sadly, the family’s au pair, Larissa Sirch, died at the scene.
“As I was driving home my phone rang,” says Robyn. “It was another friend, the mother of one of the children on the bus, and she told me to come down. When I reached the scene, the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter was already there.”
Emergency services personnel had removed Karleigh from the car and placed her in the ambulance to stabilise her. “She doesn’t remember, but when I arrived I got into the ambulance with her and she said ‘I love you mummy’.”
Given the extent of Karleigh’s injuries, a decision had been made to fly Karleigh to Wellington Hospital. “I wasn’t able to travel with her in the Rescue Helicopter but I didn’t ever feel that I needed to either,” says Robyn. “The paramedics had a job to do and I knew Karleigh was going to be in safe hands.”
A year on and Karleigh has recovered remarkably well from her injuries. Robyn says Karleigh doesn’t talk much about the accident. “She’s dealt with it in her own way and is now getting on with things.” “We’ve had lots of little milestones this year,” says Robyn. “In September she ran in her school’s cross country and was also able to take her calf to pet day which she missed last year.”
But for Robyn and husband Craig, perhaps the greatest milestone is having their family back together. “One year later, we finally feel we’ve got our daughter back again.”