The family of a 15-year-old girl who suffered terrible injuries during a car crash at the end of last month say they have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support they have received.
And they have asked the Advertiser to help thank the community.
Hundreds of young people gathered at a park in Brackley last week to hold a candlelit vigil in support of Millie Toman.
In a statement the family said: “We will try to say thank you to all concerned properly but for now we would like to let all those who organised events, and used Facebook and Twitter to support her, know that we feel truly loved and helped.
“Words are not enough but until we work out how to do more, for now, thank you all, and especially the pupils at Magdalen College School who have been beyond brilliant in their support.”
Millie suffered a fractured skull and broke four vertebrae in the car crash on the A422 near Brackley at around 9.30pm on Saturday, January 28.
Although she was conscious immediately after the crash and later at hospital, doctors induced a coma in order to protect her from her injuries.
The morning after the crash she endured a five-hour operation to repair the damage, but thankfully surgeons found no sign of damage to her brain.
Afterwards she was fitted with a metal halo brace to restrict her movement and allow her bones to fuse. She was taken out of intensive care last Friday and placed on a children’s ward. Millie is now beginning intensive physiotherapy but her family report she has been opening cards from well wishers and is determined to get back on her feet.
The family have been at Millie’s bedside since the accident and praised staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford describing surgeons and nurses as ‘second to none.’
Last Thursday hundreds of teenagers and some parents gathered in the park by Brackley Leisure Centre for a candlelit vigil.
Finlee Kuhn was one of those who helped organise the event and said: “A lot of people just can’t believe it’s happened. She might think she’s not popular, but this proves she‘s got a lot of friends and shows Brackley can really pull together when it needs to.”
As they released Chinese lanterns those present simultaneously chanted: “Pray for Millie.”
One young person, who asked not be named, said she saw for the first time the strength of community in Brackley and added: “Half the people here didn’t know Millie, but everyone knows someone who did. I just didn’t realise how close everyone is in the town.”
Messages of support have continued on Facebook and Twitter. Nearly 2,900 people have now registered their support through the Facebook group #prayformillie and celebrities have also helped spread the messages through Twitter. Last week Radio One DJ Scot Mills played a song dedicated to Millie following calls from her supporters.
Millie was injured alongside three other passengers, including a 17-year-old from Evenley, and a 16-year-old from Brackley who are also recovering in hospital. A 15-year-old from Brackley was also injured but released from hospital.
They were passengers in a red MG Rover ZR hatchback travelling towards Banbury on the A422 when it left the road between the Tesco and Banbury Road roundabouts at around 9.30pm on Saturday, January 28.
No other vehicles were involved and the driver of the Rover has since been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving and released on bail. Anyone who saw the Rover before the crash should call the Drivewatch hotline on 0800 174615.