A SCHOOLBOY crushed by a quarter-tonne steel gate woke for a matter of moments in hospital to mouth the word ‘mum’ to his anxious mother.
Josie Jefferson has kept vigil at her son Christopher’s bedside since the nine-year-old suffered a fractured skull near his Lambton Terrace home, in Stanley, County Durham, on Sunday afternoon.
Doctors yesterday indicated there has been some slight improvement in his condition, but there is still some way to go before he is firmly on the path to recovery.
It emerged that Chris had woken for a matter of moments while a neurologist at Newcastle’s General Hospital assessed his condition, before he was placed back under sedation to aid his recovery.
During that time he was able to open his eyes, and on seeing Josie, instinctively reached for her and mouthed ‘mum’.
The quick exchange, which followed emergency surgery just hours earlier in the day to relieve a build-up of pressure on the youngster’s brain, has inspired fresh hope of recovery in the mum-of-four.
Josie, 43, said: “It was an amazing moment. Since then he has looked better to me. I feel more positive. He is still on a ventilator, but the doctors have told me they have increased the medication to keep him sedated because he keeps trying to get up.
“Staying asleep helps his recovery. It gives his brain a chance to rest. It’s a lot for a young lad to take, but he’s hanging in there. He’s a tough one.”
Chris was caught under the steel gate of a haulage yard, on Sunday afternoon. The force of the impact shattered the his wrist and cheekbone. He also suffered a broken nose and deep cut to his face.
Identical twin brother, Joshua, watched as Christopher courageously gave their dad the thumbs-up before being airlifted away for treatment.
The exact circumstances of the incident are still unknown. Chris’s parents had been told their son had been chased, and was hiding under the gate, but Durham Constabulary have confirmed their involvement in the matter remains peripheral.
Josie and Chris’s dad Steven, 34, have made an appeal for anyone with information to come forward, so they can piece together the moments leading up to the crush in case it can help with their son’s recovery in any way.
Josie said: “I just want to know what’s happened to him. There have been all sorts of different rumours, but I want someone to come forward. Our main priority is still getting Christopher better. We’re just taking it a day at a time.”
Steven Moore, headteacher of Greenland School, where Christopher and Joshua are in Year Four, said the thoughts of all the staff and pupils were with the family.