A 6-year-old girl remains hospitalized with serious head injuries after a sledding accident Sunday afternoon in Marlborough, New Hampshire.
The rolling hills off Horse Hill Road are a popular sledding spot for families in the area. Within minutes of arriving, Kayla Wooster said her niece Bella just couldn't wait and hopped on her plastic sled and took off down the hill and out of sight.
“She’s a daredevil,” Wooster said.
She knew something was wrong when she heard Bella’s brother screaming for help. Wooster ran to the bottom of the hill.
“She was laying up against the trees and I turned her over and she wasn’t responding,” she said.
First responders arrived and quickly decided to take the little girl to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center by medical helicopter.
Doctors say Bella has two skull fractures, a broken jaw, a bruised liver, and a small brain bleed — all from a sledding trip gone wrong.
“With the rain we got and how icy it was, she was moving, she was definitely going really fast,” Wooster said.
Marlborough Police Sgt. Zachary Byam says the lack of snow this winter is making for unusually fast sledding.
“It’s fairly icy under a thin layer of snow we have,” he said.
And he says Bella’s story is proof, you can never be too careful, and he suggests grabbing your ski helmet for sledding.
“It’s not a bad idea if you do have them to bring them out with you,” Byam said.
After a sledding accident this serious, Wooster says Bella has shown superhuman strength. On Tuesday, she took her first steps toward a full recovery.
“She’s a little spitfire, she’s tough, so that’s definitely on her side,” Wooster said.
Police are hoping this lesson is a timely one — just as kids across the region head out to their favorite sledding hills on school vacation.