Hannah’s 24 Hour Walk Fundraiser for Helping Hand

Posted by on Jul 21, 2020 in Events Column, News Column | Comments Off on Hannah’s 24 Hour Walk Fundraiser for Helping Hand


On Tuesday 12th May 2020, a catastrophic RTC occurred on the Whitepark Road, Ballycastle, which claimed the lives of Hanna Smyth’s mother and little sister aged 3 years. Hannah (5years) was left severely injured as a result. Within minutes, NIAS crews from Ballycastle and further afield attended this major incident.

After a period of emergency treatment, NIAS members made the crucial decision to blue light her to Coleraine A&E as soon as possible, rather than wait for HEMS. In my opinion, this decision undoubtedly was the best course of action to ensure Hannah’s stabilisation, since HEMS was delayed due to another ‘shout’ down the country.

After further treatment by Coleraine A&E, Hannah was evacuated by Coastguard Helicopter to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Royal Victoria Children’s Hospital, Belfast, where she remained for 6 weeks receiving incredible care from the PICU Team. On Tuesday 16th June, Hannah was discharged to the RVH Paul Ward for further rehabilitation.

As the Smyth’s family minister, who was present at the scene, I know from first-hand experience that the decisions made by our NIAS, A&E, Coastguard & PICU professionals undoubted saved Hannah’s life. Indeed, the PICU Team commented to me, that very day, they were impressed by the pre-admission care Hannah had received.

Recently, I was approached by one of the NIAS crews who were in attendance that day, to seek Hanna’s father’s permission for them to organise a fundraiser in support of the Royal Victoria Hospital’s PICU. It was with no hesitation her Daddy agreed and so ‘Hannah’s PICU Fundraiser’ was birthed. Can I encourage you to support their 24hr Walk to raise funds for our only specialist Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the RVH and can I take this opportunity to thank all NIAS staff for the incredible work you perform on a day to day and hour by hour basis. Thank you. The Lord bless you all. Keep up the good work!

Rev. John Stanbridge