Girl, 19, shatters most of her bones after falling 18 metres

Brianne Tolj
·3-min read

A teenage girl who loves to travel and dance has broken or fractured almost all of her bones after falling up to 18 metres while out with friends.

Maddy Read, from Sydney, was spending time with her close girlfriends on January 29 when the group decided to climb to the roof of a movie theatre, as they had done many times as teens, to admire the full moon, her sister, Jessica Read, 25, told Yahoo News Australia.

“Like teenagers do, they think they’re bullet-proof,” she said on Friday.

Maddy, 19, was the last one up the stairs, but misjudged a step and plummeted to the bottom — slamming into the concrete below.

Maddy Read unconscious in hospital with bruises on her face after the fall.
Maddy Read was spending time with her friends on January 29 when the group decided to climb to the roof of a movie theatre to admire the full moon. Source: Supplied

“She doesn’t remember too much about the fall except for having eye contact with her friend as she realised she was falling,” Jessica said.

The teen miraculously survived, but when her friends rushed back down they saw a bone in her leg and a bone in her arm had broken through the skin.

There was so much blood that they thought she was dead.

Incredibly, Maddy maintained consciousness and was able to talk to the paramedics when they arrived.

The 19-year-old was rushed to hospital and immediately underwent a 12-hour surgery “to put her back together as much as they could”, Jessica said.

Doctors discovered the aspiring childcare worker had numerous severe injuries including a broken pelvis, broken hip, a compound fracture in an arm and thigh and fractures in her skull and eye socket.

Maddy, 19, seen before the fall.
Maddy, 19, was the last one up the stairs, but misjudged a step and plummeted to the bottom — slamming into the concrete below. Source: Supplied

Both tibias and fibulas on both legs were badly broken, as well as both feet.

One of her heels was so horrifically shattered she only has 20 per cent of cartilage left.

Maddy has since undergone multiple surgeries and had rods and plates placed throughout her body.

She has been bedridden in the hospital ever since and will be for at least another month before moving to a rehabilitation centre.

The 19-year-old won’t be able to walk comfortably for another two years and won’t be able to go home until she’s able to get herself around in a wheelchair.

Jessica described her sister as incredibly tough and determined, recalling her screaming in pain as hospital staff tried to get her used to a hoist.

Maddy with her mum (in pink) and sister (front). Source: Supplied
Maddy enjoys time with her family, including her mum (in pink) and sister (front). Source: Supplied

“Mum keeps joking and calling her Captain Marvel,” Jessica said.

“Laughter is the best way to get through these things.”

Tragically, the sisters' dad committed suicide in 2015.

Their now single mum is working to support them but has now been hit with medical expenses and rehabilitation costs so the family has created a GoFundMe.

“Our family and Maddy would be forever grateful for any help,” the family’s GoFundMe reads.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.

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