'Overwhelmed' | 

Outpouring of support for Waterford girl (17) hit by car while cycling

A fundraiser to help pay for specialist jaw surgery for Adrija has raised €12,000 of its €40,000 goal - with several major donations over Christmas.

Ralph RiegelIndependent.ie

A Waterford-based family said they are "overwhelmed" at the outpouring of support for their 17-year-old daughter who now requires extensive jaw reconstruction including bone grafts after she was struck by a car while cycling home from school.

The family of Adrija Sipaila (17) extended their thanks to the emergency services who assisted the teen at the accident scene in Dungarvan on May 26 last before she was airlifted to Cork University Hospital (CUH) in a critical condition.

A fundraiser to help pay for specialist jaw surgery for Adrija has raised over €13,000 of its €40,000 goal - with several major donations over Christmas.

The teen's medical bills have already amounted to over €10,000 with her family now hoping she can receive specialist jaw reconstruction surgery from a world-renowned surgeon in Lithuania.

Her treatment in Ireland has been partially covered by insurance.

Adrija's father, Julius, said they are very grateful for all the support the family have received but are hoping they can now raise the funding for his daughter's specialist surgeries overseas.

"We have found a doctor in Lithuania (who) is a leading doctor in Europe (for such surgeries)," he said.

"There is no such (specialist) doctor here who can help us."

Such was the damage to Adrija's face and jaw that she may require two further years of surgery to her jaw, teeth and gums.

The family have already brought the teen for several trips to Lithuania for assessment for treatment.

Her father said the jaw surgery is critical to helping his daughter lead a normal life.

"The jaw operation is important. (She) definitely needs it. The bone transplantation is also definitely needed."

To help repair Adrija's shattered jaw, a specialist surgeon will remove a piece of bone from her leg to allow for an extensive graft.

This will help replace a large piece of bone now missing from the teen's jaw.

Such was the damage to Adrija's mouth in the collision that she will also require surgery on her gums extending right through her mouth.

Adrija was knocked unconscious in the collision and has absolutely no memory of her accident.

"All we want is to help Adrija to smile again," he said.

Julius raced to the accident scene within minutes of the collision occurring and was appalled at the injuries suffered by his daughter.

Adrija lost six teeth, part of her upper jaw was shattered, her lower jaw was broken, she fractured her collar bone and had nerve damage throughout her mouth.

Julius praised the emergency services, the air ambulance pilot and the CUH doctors for helping save his daughter's life.

While Adrija avoided critical brain and spinal injuries, the injuries to her face and jaw were such that she will likely have to remain on a liquid diet for two years.

Anyone wishing to help Adrija can do so here.

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