Teenager given no chance of survival after being run down in Ibiza stuns doctors by taking her first stepsDoctors weren”t going to put Mellisa on life support as they classed her as brain dead, but then her brother saw her arm move
A teenager who was left for dead in a hit-and-run while on holiday in Ibiza has battled back from her life-threatening injuries.
Mellisa Sanders was hit by a taxi in San Antonio just two days before her break was due to end.
The 18-year-old”s injuries were so bad that doctors didn”t expect her to last the night.
But Mellisa started to improve after she was placed on a life-support machine and recovered to the point where she could be flown back to the UK from the Balearic island.
Mellisa Sanders, 22, was left for dead following a hit and run four years ago. Her mother Christine said she was an inspiration
However, before she left, medics told distraught mum Christine her daughter would be in a “vegetative state” for the rest of her life, unable to move or eat.
But after four years, Mellisa, now 22, continues to defy the doctors and is described as an “inspiration” by her family.
Not only can she communicate with loved ones, but she has also started taking her first steps after physio sessions in a hospital gym.
She has also reached other recovery milestones such as dressing herself and cleaning her own teeth.
Her mother Christine, 56, from Whitburn, South Tyneside, said: “Mellisa is truly an inspiration. From where she was four years ago, she is defying the doctors every step of the way – she”s amazing.
“Until now we didn”t want to say anything, but Mellisa wants everyone to know how well she is doing in the hope it will inspire others, who have also suffered traumatic injuries, in their recovery.”
Mellisa was holidaying with friends in Ibiza as they celebrated their A-Level results when tragedy struck.
The group were on a night out and getting out of a taxi on a poorly lit road when she was hit by a cab.
The driver sped off, leaving the teenager for dead on the roadside. The taxi driver has never been caught.
Mellisa is now receiving specialist rehabilitation at Walkergate Hospital in Newcastle
Mellisa”s older brother, Daryl, and his partner, Claire White, who were also holidaying on the island, were first to arrive at her hospital bedside.
Christine said: “They managed to get to the hospital quickly, as they were only 40 minutes away.
“It was really hard for me, being here at home, trying to find out what was happening because of the language barrier, but as soon as I could, I flew out there to be by her bedside.
“It was a shock when I saw her, I can only describe her as being smashed beyond recognition. She was a mess.
“My son had said the doctors weren”t going to put her on a life support machine as they classed her as brain dead, her eyes were fixed and she was classed as being in a coma.
“But then my son said he saw her arm move and they put her on the machine – they didn”t know if she would last the night.”
Mellisa spent almost three weeks on the machine before doctors finally felt it was right to take her off the equipment helping to keep her alive.
She was taken for an MRI scan, which showed the left side of her brain had been severely damaged.
Eventually, doctors allowed Mellisa to be flown by air ambulance to Newcastle General – where she spent a further 16 months being treated before finally being allowed home. She is now receiving specialist rehabilitation at Walkergate Hospital.
Christine added: “Mellisa has spent nearly three years in hospital. To see her stand for the first time, I”m just choked every time she does something new.
“She can”t remember the accident, yet she can remember the Leeds Festival before her holiday.
“I know she will never be the same and I have come to accept that but she is making positive progress, she is proving all the medics wrong.”
Mellisa, who had achieved A-Levels in Law and Business Studies, had set her heart on becoming a lawyer. And she remains determined to one day have a job.
“She wants to work,” added Christine, who gave up her own job as a beautician to care for her daughter.
“It has taken a long time in her recovery to get to this stage but she is a determined.”