A woman is lucky to be alive, according to surgeons, after she was brutally attacked with an ice skate.
Jemma Fitzgerald, of Chester, was left with blood gushing out of her head after being allegedly hit with the blade while walking alone in Deeside.
The 20-year-old’s injuries were so severe she was immediately transferred from the Countess of Chester Hospital to the intensive care unit at Walton Centre in Liverpool, a hospital specialising in brain injuries, where surgeons had to remove fragments of her skull from her brain.
Two weeks on from her ordeal, doctors have told Jemma they are unsure if she will ever fully recover from her injuries.
Jemma told the Chronicle: “I was on my way to Shotton Boxing Club to meet some people about a charity event for Cancer Research when I was hit in the head with an ice skate completely out of the blue. I actually didn’t feel anything and only realised what had happened when I felt blood running down my face.
“I wasn’t really sure what to do and didn’t realise how serious it was at the time to be honest.”
She paid tribute to a teenage boy and his dad who helped her after the incident until an ambulance and police arrived.
Jemma says she has no memory of her trip to hospital and it was only the next day that she learned just how serious her injuries were.
“Apparently I was in intensive care up until my operation where doctors found I had a depressed skull and fragments of bone in my brain which they had to remove. The surgeon told me that realistically I shouldn’t be alive,” she said.
The former showjumper and steeplechase rider says she is scared for the future as is still struggling to carry out everyday tasks and fears she may never ride a horse again.
“I’m suffering from memory loss and have difficulty speaking as the words just sometimes won’t come. I’ve also been left with weakness in my left arm and leg. It’s really scary as I’ve always done horses and I used to be a showjumper and steeplechase rider and to think that I may never even be able to get on a horse again terrifies me.”
She added: “I don’t think it has really sunk in as I’m still running on adrenaline and on medication.”
Jemma, who lives in Chester, is alleged to have been assaulted at the junction of Rowley Street and Health Street in Shotton, a short distance from Deeside Ice Rink, at about 7.20pm on Wednesday, September 17.
A 27-year-old woman from Merseyside was arrested on suspicion of assault and has been released on police bail pending further investigations.
Det Insp Tim Evans of North Wales Police said: “I would appeal to anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who may have information which may assist the police to call on 101 quoting incident number R147301.”