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Woman impaled by tree limb meets first responders who saved her

Grace Costello was driving with her daughter to buy ice cream when a tree limb impaled her in the abdomen.

LUCKETTS, Va. — The young mother who nearly died after a tree limb impaled her had the chance to thank the first responders who saved her life. 

Grace Costello, 23, was severely injured after she was impaled in the abdomen in Lovettsville in February. Her four-year-old daughter was in the backseat as they were on their way to buy ice cream. 

Nearly three months later, Costello, her daughter and her family were invited to meet the rescuers from multiple agencies in person in Lucketts. Among the departments in attendance were Loudoun County Fire and Rescue, Loudoun Sheriff, AirCare and Frederick County Fire and Rescue.

"Thank you to each and every one of you who literally saved my life that day," Grace Costello said. "All of you that day came together to help me and I think about all of you every day. You're like real-life heroes to me."

The impact caused Costello's car to hit a guardrail and dangle off the road near Route 15 & Lovettsville Road. Gia remained in the backseat unscathed. 

"I'm amazed to see her today considering what I saw at the scene that day," Purceville Volunteer Fire Company Fire Chief Scott Maple told WUSA9. "She's tough. She had a will and she's here because of that."

"I don't know how I could ever possibly thank them I mean there are no words," mother Faith Costello said.

Many of the rescuers were also recognized by their departments. 

Flight nurse Katie MacSwain and her team were also in attendance to showcase the helicopter used to transport her to the hospital. 

"It's not often we get to actually see our patients," MacSwain said. "I will not forget this flight I remember literally the entire thing just because we were working so hard to stabilize her and keep her alive."

Grace Costello suffered three spinal fractures, five broken ribs, a collapsed lung and liver lacerations. She also endured injuries to her heart, diaphragm and colon. She had to have her right kidney removed, in addition to four surgeries and multiple blood transfusions.

Costello has been invited to speak at an event in the near future hosted by Inova Blood Donor Services. 

RELATED: 'The most pain I will ever feel in my life' | Mother continues recovery months after being impaled by tree

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