BATTLING teenager Callum Parkinson is back at school – eight months after the road accident that nearly claimed his life.
The 14-year-old has started the arduous process of re-learning much of what he already knew before he was seriously injured in Fenay Bridge on June 9.
Doctors told Callum’s family he was unlikely to survive after he was knocked down on Station Road, just yards from their home on Fenay Drive.
But he defied the odds to make a remarkable recovery and has now returned to King James’s School in Almondbury.
Callum’s mum Christine said: “He has come a long way.
“At the start, we were told he wasn’t going to make it, then that he was going to be a vegetable, then that he was going to have to be in hospital for a year, then it was eight months.
“But he has kept on proving people wrong.”
Callum, who was a promising member of the Newsome Panthers under 14s rugby league team, was accidentally hit by a car as he was being dropped off following a training session.
Thanks to the quick actions of Anthony Sipka, a paramedic who lives on Station Road, he was given vital first aid before being flown by Yorkshire Air Ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary.
Callum had to undergo two brain operations and spent four weeks on a ventilator in intensive care before finally able to breathe unaided.
After being moved onto the neuroscience rehabilitation ward, he slowly started to learn how to feed himself again, regained some of his speech and started to walk.
A further operation was carried out to insert metal plates in Callum’s head where some of his skull had been removed to ease the swelling on his brain.
The youngster is now back at home, where he receives regular visits from physiotherapists and speech and occupational therapists.
He also goes for sessions of physio at the Princess Royal Community Health Centre off Greenhead Road in Greenhead.
Callum, who was a promising pupil at King James’s before his accident, has one-to-one sessions with a specialist teacher and group lessons at the school in the morning.
But he has forgotten a lot of what he had learned before his accident and said he had found returning to school difficult.
“I can’t remember certain words,” he said.
“I used to be really clever. Now I sometimes feel dumb.”
His big ambition is to play rugby again, but doctors have said it could be several months before he can try returning to the field.
But Christine said, despite the challenges, Callum was continuing to surprise people.
“The speech and language therapist said that, to say he has had such a severe injury, the fact that he has got as far as he has is amazing,” she said.
“He finds it hard not being with his mates at school all the time, but he has to be patient.
“We are just hoping that everything keeps going the way things are going at the moment.”
She thanked everyone who had raised money for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, including friends and family and Rowley Lane, King James’ and Longley schools.