Toddler Makes Miracle Recovery, but Help is Still Needed

Last week, we told you about Olivia Smith, the 19-month-old daughter of Susan Smith, a nurse specialist at New Hampshire Hospital, who suffered a traumatic injury.

Olivia Smith is now home from the hospital.

This week, there’s excellent news about the little girl’s recovery from WMUR and the Union Leader. Olivia was released from the hospital Wednesday, and her family told the Union Leader it’s likely she’ll make a full recovery.

On Jan. 6, Olivia was sitting in a chair coloring with a colored pencil when she fell and landed on the pencil. The pencil entered through the corner of her eye and became lodged deep in her brain. The little girl suffered a stroke, which affected her right side. After a frightening few weeks, it sounds like Olivia will be OK.

The toddler’s story, as detailed in the Union Leader, sounds like a miracle:

Doctors didn’t remove the pencil for several hours, mapping out a plan. When they finally took out the pencil, without the need for surgery, they realized what had happened was a unique case.

“The neurosurgeon said if you were to sit down and map out a way you would want a pencil to go through the brain, that’s what you would have happen, because it missed everything,” Susan Smith said.

The pencil managed to miss not only the eyeball but also several of the brain’s vital areas, including the optic nerve and the major arteries.

After eight days, Olivia was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Though doctors said she might be there for six weeks, she ended up staying just one week.

While Olivia appears to be out of the woods, the cost of her treatment is expected to be a burden on the young family. As we mentioned last week, a memorial fund has been set up. If you’d like to make a donation, you can send it to: Olivia Cecelia Smith Benefit Fund (Citizens Bank) PO Box 351, Goffstown NH 03045.

SEA members have already stepped up to help. Smith’s Chapter 4 colleagues at NH Hospital are holding a bake sale on Feb. 6. You can email Laurie Aucoin at if you’d like to bake something to be sold.

After hearing about this story last week, Cheryl Towne, a member of Chapter 9 at the Glencliff Home, stepped up to run a bake sale on Feb. 6 at her workplace. If you’d like to help with the bake sale at Glencliff, you can email Towne at

If you’d like to help out with your own fundraiser, please let us know and we’ll be sure to publicize your efforts.

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