Irwin Mitchell Supporting Family After Camden Mother-Of-Two Sustained Life-Changing Injuries
When England and France took to the field on Saturday, 11 March, one of the mascots was a young girl who had a challenging year after her mum sustained life-changing injuries in a train accident.
Irwin Mitchell is the Official Legal Partner of England Rugby. Together, the two organisations offered Daphne de Lagarde, 8, the opportunity to lead the teams in the latest round of the Six Nations Championships at Twickenham.
Joining Daphne for the once-in-a-lifetime event were sister Chloe, 12, and mum and dad, Sarah, 44, and Jeremy, 42. Expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have been supporting the family from Camden, North London, since mum Sarah sustained severe injuries in a tube station accident in September 2022.
Daphne joined other mascots waving flags to welcome the team on arrival at Twickenham and was proudly sporting the England rugby kit while being escorted to the pitch by one of England's star players.
The family had a difficult time after Sarah was involved in a tube accident in which she nearly died. Recovery involved spending months in hospital away from her family. Sarah is still recovering from a double amputation on the right side of her body, below the knee and above the elbow, following the life-changing experience for the family.
An opportunity to see a game in the Six Nations and for Daphne to be a mascot was a chance for the family to share a positive experience and enjoy a day out together.
As a mascot, Daphne said: "It was amazing to walk out with the team in front of all those people. Everyone was cheering, and it was fun to meet the players. I liked waving the flag; wearing the kit was so fun."
Adam Beacock, partnership manager at Irwin Mitchell, said: "As part of our ongoing partnership, England Rugby and Irwin Mitchell want to be able to offer remarkable experiences to deserving people and were delighted to have helped make a dream come true for Daphne and her family after what has been a traumatic six months for all of them.
"Sport has the power to help bring positivity and hope to so many people's lives, and it's great to see the value of it in this case and wish the family and Sarah well as she continues her recovery."
Sarah de Lagarde was on her way home from work on 30 September 2022 when she fell down the gap between the train and the platform at High Barnet tube station. Sarah was hit by the departing tube and then again by the next train pulling into the station. Sarah was stranded on the tracks until someone heard her calls for help. She was taken by air ambulance to Royal London Hospital, where her arm and leg were amputated.
Despite her injuries, Sarah said thinking about her family kept her going and gave her the strength to recover. She promised her daughters she would be home for Christmas and was true to her word, being discharged from the hospital on 23 December.
Sarah de Lagarde said: "The train accident wasn't just a life-changing event for me, but for the rest of the family. It's a complex and frightening thing to explain to two young girls from a hospital bed, and Daphne and Chloe have both been incredibly resilient. Jeremy and I are so proud of how they have coped since that terrible day in September.
"I feel so privileged and grateful to be alive. Making it home for Christmas was an important milestone; a day out at Twickenham was the icing on the cake. It was a time to forget about the tears and the upset, have a great day out together, and create some new memories.
"We're so grateful to England Rugby and Irwin Mitchell for arranging this special day out for our girls. A serious accident makes you appreciate what matters, and we now have an unforgettable family experience to remember for all the right reasons."