East End fundraiser for ‘miracle’ schoolgirl Lucy—baptised in coma
Family and friends of the ‘miracle schoolgirl’ baptised in a coma while close to death are holding a comedy night fundraiser this evening (Friday) for the hospital that saved her life.
They have hired the Aldgate Exchange pub in London’s East End to put on a show to celebrate Lucy Hussey-Bergonzi’s 16th birthday.
Lucy, who went to the Italia Conti drama academy and had a walk-on part in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, had a brain haemorrhage when she was just 13—soon after filming finished.
She was rushed by ambulance to the Royal London Hospital from her home in South Hackney and put on life-support, then transferred to Gt Ormond Street for surgery to remove a blood clot.
“I looked the surgeon in the eye and asked him straight if Lucy would survive—he couldn’t say,” her mother Denise, 41, recalled. “I asked if I should kiss her goodbye—he told me it might be advisable.”
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Lucy has a rare Arteriovenous malformation, abnormal blood vessels that remain undetected until they burst.
She got through two operations, but went into a coma.
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Then came what the family call Lucy’s miracle.
“We had Lucy baptised three days later,” Denise explained.
“The priest placed the holy water over Lucy, when she suddenly raised her left arm.
“We can only describe it as a miracle. Lucy’s arm began to move—even though she was in a coma.”
Lucy was in coma for seven days, then later transferred to the Royal London’s rehab unit where she had to learn to walk, talk, eat and use the toilet again.
But she had a constant stream of visitors during those three months including her classmates from Bishop Challenor Secondary in Shadwell which speeded her recovery.
Lucy believes seeing her family and friends every day helped her.
“They got me through it,” she said. “I wouldn’t have got better so quickly without their love and support in hospital.”
Lucy has been left with some brain damage and has severe headaches, but her attitude is that she’s alive.
“She never asked why it happened to her,” adds her mum. “She just gets on with life.”
Lucy was well enough to be bridesmaid last summer at her 23-year-old brother Ricky’s wedding, the day after her 15th birthday.
It was Ricky who saved Lucy’s life by his quick actions when he found her collapsed on the living room floor and knew to put her in the ‘recovery’ position.
“Ricky kept talking to her and stimulating her brain,” his mum said proudly. “The doctors told us that’s what saved her.”
Ricky went on to train as a lifeguard at Hackney’s Kings Hall swimming pool.
Tonight’s cabaret at the Aldgate Exchange pub in Whitechapel High Street at 7.30pm—organised by Lucy’s cousin Michael Hussey who introduces the evening as a stand-up comic—is a fundraiser for Gt Ormond Street as well as a celebration for Lucy’s birthday.