17-year-old Jacqueline is fighting for her life after the accident in motocross
17-year-old Jacqueline Löfqvist from Filipstad is fighting for her life in the neurointensive care unit at Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
It was at the SM sub-competition in motocross in Uddevalla on Saturday that she landed unhappily with her head first.
– If she had not used the special neck protection and the special helmet, we would have had no hope at all and she would have been gone now, says father Shelby Micke Löfqvist.
In the tragic nightmare situation, Shelby Micke Löfqvist wants there to be lessons learned and faith in the future.
Both he and Jacqueline have always talked warmly about the use of protection in motocross.
This mainly applies to both the hard neck protectors and the so-called MIPS helmets.
– It is the two protections that make the doctors say that there is still hope and they can treat Jacqueline. The chest and back gathered strength so that the neck did not break. Otherwise she would have folded herself up like a folding knife. There are two camps when it comes to the use of hard neck protectors. We have always been on the side that it is an absolute must based on years of American studies of motocross injuries. In Sweden, there are those who think that it is not something you can use and that these protections only make it more dangerous. It’s like when seat belts and airbags came, that under certain conditions it can certainly get worse, but 98-99 percent of the time it’s life-changing, says Shelby Micke Löfqvist.
“Had been full of bleeding”
The hard neck protection is designed so that the helmet can only be angled a few degrees forward and back and to the sides, then the helmet takes this type of neck protection.
It distributes the forces further downwards when integrated with the chest and back protection so that it becomes a complete system.
– The MIPS helmets, in turn, have a jelly-like middle layer that takes up the first 10-15 millimeters. They absorb the worst g-forces before the brain gets hit. Jacqueline did not suffer any brain bleeding and doctors believe that without this helmet there would have been a lot of bleeding. Then the situation would have been much, much worse. Me and Jacqueline have talked a lot about these systems when we’ve run girls cross camps and try on days for girls. If we can get any parent to upgrade the protection for their children and young people, then we have a purpose in our tough situation, says Shelby Micke Löfqvist.
“Disappeared for a short while”
It was at this year’s second SM sub-competition in motocross for girls that Jacqueline, in the biggest jump of 32 meters, suffered a sideways throw in the jump so that the bike twisted twelve meters into the air.
Jacqueline failed to bail out of that situation and landed on her head.
– Two seconds later she lay lifeless on the track. I ran there and found her completely gone and unconscious. Thank goodness it was the SM in Uddevalla with three professional emergency teams on site and not a small regional competition where you might do the minimum possible to meet the regulations’ requirements for paramedics. Jacqueline had hit her face quite hard, she was bleeding profusely and it ran down her lungs. She was choking on her own blood. The pulse disappeared and Jacqueline passed out briefly because there was too much blood in her lungs. The ambulance brought out a suction to remove the blood and that allowed her to start breathing again, says Shelby Micke Löfqvist.
Treated in the intensive care unit
When they tried to wake up Jacqueline in the intensive care unit in Trollhättan, she started convulsing, it was helicoptered to Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg.
– Jacqueline has been as deeply sedated as possible since then, what is colloquially called a coma. The pressure in the skull increased significantly, so they had to put her to sleep more deeply and medicate harder. They have surgically inserted a tube into the fluid-filled cavity of the brain to be able to monitor the pressure more accurately and also drain fluid if deemed necessary. It is a complicated operation where it is incredibly difficult to get it right, so we could not promise that it would succeed and go well, says Shelby Micke Löfqvist.
Four-five crises per day
The condition is still critical and Jacqueline is still more deeply sedated than during a normal operation and breathing on a respirator.
It has not yet been possible to do an MRI to determine exact injuries because the brain is swollen and fragile.
– After x-rays, you know how damaged the nerve fibers are. What makes there are glimmers of light and hope is that the neck, back and organs are undamaged and that there are no brain bleeds at all. In the last 24 hours, there have been no major crises either, only small crises, previously there have been four or five major crises per day when the swelling on the brain has increased, says Shelby Micke Löfqvist.
“Was her dream”
Together with older siblings and girlfriend, they try to stick together and support each other.
– Even as a child, Jacqueline started talking about becoming Sweden’s first female world champion. When she got her first little Chinese cross for a thousand bucks that she drove around on the lawn at home, it was her dream. Jacqueline has carried that dream with her all the way, even when she didn’t want to compete until she was twelve because she was afraid of the starts. Then she started racing by not being at the start and starting to drive when the others were in the first corner. She raced the European Championship in motocross earlier this year and was on top of the podium at the SM sub-competitions in supermoto last year. She aims to beat all the guys too. It’s her, it’s Jacqueline, says Shelby Micke Löfqvist.
“The best protection available”
As active in motocross, they have always been aware of the risks of the accidents that occur.
– It’s hell right now, it doesn’t get much worse to stay on this side. I feel like an empty plastic bag that you drop on the floor. At the same time, you are like a volcano that is about to explode inside. I am both empty and like a bomb. What I feel safe in is that Jacqueline had the best protections available, I feel no regrets in any way. This was her life’s dream, I didn’t want to stifle it but instead support her with the best conditions and protection possible. We’ll see what happens if Jacqueline wakes up. It turned out like it happened with Michael Schumacher. There was no further condition of Kenny Bräck for a long time either. There is the whole spectrum of consequences. You can’t bear to think about that now. We can only take it hour by hour, says Shelby Micke Löfqvist.
Several times tears come to his throat when dad talks about details of the nasty accident his daughter had and her serious condition.
On the Facebook page Jacqueline #77, he continuously updates what is happening with his daughter.
The support and collections started by visitors there pay for, among other things, hotel rooms during the painful vigil in Gothenburg.
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