Queensland College of Fine Art graduate Visaya Hoffie had been visiting a friend in the US when she tripped and fell onto the subway tracks at New York’s 14th Street station at around 4am on January 11.
The aspiring artist reportedly lay unconscious on the tracks for around 20 minutes before, thankfully, the driver of a second oncoming train spotted her bright pink clothing and hit the brakes.
Both of Visaya’s lower legs have been amputated. She has also suffered multiple head wounds, a C2 vertebral fracture, a sheared vertebral artery and a skull depression as well as associated cuts and wounds.
However – miraculously – she has survived the terrifying ordeal and has shown no sign of brain damage. She has also now been taken off life support, and remains in a New York hospital with her mother Pat Hoffie at her side.
Posting about her daughter’s incredible progress via Facebook on January 20, Pat wrote:
From the depths of our hearts, thank you for your online support. One of the nurses in ICU said to me, ‘A lone wolf dies in the winter. In times like this, keep with your pack’.
And it’s been true – the support and love from each of you surrounds Visaya (and myself) with increased strength –deep gratitude to each one who has written expressing support and love.
On Wednesday Visaya is due for further ‘corrective amputation’ on her left leg. Please either pray hard or think hard for will-towards-goodness for her on this day and the days following. It’s going to be a big one.
She has a pseudoaneurism in the femoral artery leading into her brain and this is being monitored by the neck brace she will have to wear for many months to come, and aspirin to avoid blood clotting. The stitches in her face have come out but the row of staples in her skull will be in for some time.
Top saved her life
Days and nights are filled with visits from doctors and nurses on a half-hourly basis – there is not a second to spare. So please forgive me for not being to reply personally to each of you just yet; this update is the best way to answer questions about what’s happening.
My indefatigable, wonderful brother Tom and Visaya’s beautiful friend Wayan Preston have been bulwarks of strength and support.
This image of her was taken hours before the accident; the bright pink colour of her top is what alerted the engine driver of the second train to the fact that someone was lying across the track.
When the first train had rolled across her unconscious body twenty minutes earlier, her black puffy jacket and black jeans had made her invisible to the driver. In the words of the investigating police, ‘it’s a miracle she survived’. Please pray that she continues to survive and to heal and to come home.
Brave Visaya was even able to post a message of thanks to her friends over Instagram, thanking them for their support and well-wishes: