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Franklin 3-year-old Loses Part Of Leg After Lawn Mower Accident

The Milford Daily News reported that she was unpacking boxes on Aug. 22 at her new home in Franklin while her two daughters, Alexa, 6, and Abigail, 3, stayed at their father’s home in Lakeville for a few days. That Saturday, she received a hysterical call from her children’s father riding in the back of an ambulance. Abigail had been backed over by a riding lawn mower. He told her the ambulance was on its way toward Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, which had the closest Level 1 Trauma center. Reardon, driving over 30 minutes to the hospital, beating the ambulance there. When the ambulance arrived, she watched its doors swing open and as Abby was wheeled out. Abigail was still conscious, not even appearing to be in shock. Reardon asked that the lawn mower driver’s identity not be published because it was an accident. She said the operator didn’t see her behind them as the machine was put in reverse. The accident resulted in extensive damage to Abigail’s left foot and leg, said her mother, and she spent the next 16 days at the hospital, enduring five surgeries and a PICC line (a long tube inserted into a vein in the arm to draw blood and give fluids). Abigail ended up losing her left foot and leg up to the middle of her calf, said her mother, and will likely experience more surgeries, physical therapy, occupational therapy and counseling for the coming years. Alexa, who saw the accident happen, has also begun counseling to help her understand what happened. Motivated through taking the hospital’s therapy dog, Nemo, for a walk around the building, Abigail learned how to use her wheelchair and helped her associate it with something positive, said her mother. At least until the end of September, she’ll be on five different medications, and will need many prosthetic leg fittings over the next 15 years or longer until she’s done growing. Because the bones in her amputated leg grow, the skin might not stretch fast enough to keep up, so she’ll have to go through several procedures to “shorten the bone” as she grows. But after she’s done growing, she’ll still need a new prosthetic every five years or so, said Reardon. After healing for some time and using compression bandages, Abigail will be able to get her first prosthetic leg before the end of the year. A new prosthetic leg can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $20,000 on a yearly basis, said Reardon, and expects out-of-pocket medical expenses to exceed $90,000 over the course of Abigail’s treatment. The out-of-pocket expenses under her insurance max out at $6,000, and her doctor said to assume hitting that number every year for as long as Abby is a dependent of hers. If she stays on her mother’s insurance until she’s 26, that could mean for the next 23 years. Coming home from the hospital on the day of the accident, Reardon opened her front door and was met with a pair of Abigail’s shoes. Abigail as a funny and independent girl who likes Disney princesses and playing with dolls. As Abigail stayed at the hospital that night, Reardon explained to Alexa what was happening to her sister and what it would mean to have a prosthetic leg. Will Abby be OK? I missed our car and our stuff. The spirit of Abby’s story is her spirit,” she said. “She’s been so strong, resilient and brave, and has navigated this far better than me. I’ve seen parents giving kids rides on (riding lawn mowers),” she said. “There’s an association with it that it’s this fun, positive thing to do and there’s no fear of it as a machine. You think it’s going to be OK to give them a ride with you or have them playing around outside while you’re mowing, but your life can change forever in a second,” she said. “That’s all it takes. It has been agony, for me as a mom.

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