Schoolgirl, 8, broke 15 bones and suffered brain injury after ‘freak zorbing accident’ while on family holiday

31 August 2023, 11:22 | Updated: 31 August 2023, 11:32

Lily-Mae was rushed to hospital following the accident.
Lily-Mae was rushed to hospital following the accident. Picture: Family Handout/Day One Trauma Support

By Jenny Medlicott

An eight-year-old girl broke 15 bones and suffered from a brain injury after a 'freak' zorbing accident while on holiday in North Yorkshire.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Lily-Mae West, who was seven at the time of the incident, was on a family holiday in North Yorkshire last year when a zorb ball knocked her over and pushed her to the “rock hard” ground.

She was with her mum, Katie, 32, dad Matthew and brother Elliot, who had all been playing football zorbing, an activity on the holiday park site they were staying in.

Lily-Mae stopped the activity after a while as she was feeling claustrophobic but as she continued to play on the side when she was knocked over by a zorbing ball.

She was then rushed to Leeds General Infirmary (LGI).

She broke 15 bones in her skull, eye sockets and roof of her mouth as well as suffering a brain injury as a result of the accident.

Her mother Katie West said she was left “badly bruised with panda eyes” after the incident and told how fluid leaked from her daughter’s brain.

“When she was in hospital I was terrified. It didn't seem real,” she added.

Read more: Embattled Luis Rubiales sends Fifa new footage of Spanish players laughing at Jenni Hermoso kiss

Read more: Two derelict London pubs yards away from each other gutted by fires that started 15 minutes apart

Lily was on holiday with her family in North Yorkshire.
Lily was on holiday with her family in North Yorkshire. Picture: Family Handout

Lily-Mae had to be kept in hospital for a week after the accident and missed eight weeks of school.

While her daughter’s brain injury isn’t severe, her mother Katie said she has noticed a change in Lily-Mae’s behaviour, noting a shift in her confidence.

The eight-year-old’s family is now raising money for Leeds General Infirmary, the same hospital that cared for Lily-Mae, and the charity that supported them in the hospital, Day Once Trauma Support.

Her mother wrote on the fundraiser page: “We would love to raise as much as we can for two amazing causes.

“Lily-Mae has been amazing and this is all her idea.”

Next month Lily-Mae plans to raise money to buy and donate books and toys to LGI by selling lemonade and buns from a stand built by her grandad.

Her mother, who is a well-being officer in a secondary school, said: "The GFM was my idea, but it was all her idea to raise money with a lemonade stand - in two days she's raised £315 on the page alone.”