Boy on the mend after fractured skull

A MOTHER has spoken for the first time of her 10-year-old son's amazing recovery from a road accident which left him with a fractured skull and fighting for his life.

Will Clarke

A MOTHER has spoken for the first time of her 10-year-old son's amazing recovery from a road accident which left him with a fractured skull and fighting for his life.

When Karen Bettoney first heard that son Aaron had been hurt in the crash, involving his bike and a car yards from their home in Red Lodge, near Mildenhall, she was told to expect the worst.

The youngster was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and the family was told his head injuries were so severe his chances of survival were not good.


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Doctors said the 48 hours following the incident on September 30 would be critical.

Mrs Bettoney, 42, said: “I found out what had happened from a friend who had arrived at the scene. My husband, David, went to him straight away as I was out with one of Aaron's brothers.

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“It was stressful as Aaron was airlifted to hospital. They said they didn't know whether he would live or die.

“He survived, but they still didn't know whether he would be paralysed. Aaron didn't wake up for a week and he didn't speak for three weeks after the accident.

“But we knew he could recognise us because he could point to pictures of his brothers and sisters, which was reassuring.”

During his time in hospital Aaron's friends saved up money to buy him a new Liverpool FC top to replace the one he was wearing when the accident happened. They presented him with the shirt on his first weekend home.

“It was their way of coping,” added Mrs Bettoney. “They came over the first weekend he came home and it was quite emotional.

Since then Aaron has returned to school on a part-time basis and the youngster, who is hoping to become a karate black belt, has returned to his lessons in the martial art.

“It is good for him to get back to normal,” added Mrs Bettoney. “He loves football and karate. Going out is always going to be a worry. I know I can't keep him at home forever - but he won't be going out again just yet.”

Mrs Bettoney also hopes her son's story will promote the importance of wearing cycle helmets when out on the road.

Insp Trevor Sharman, of the Serious Collision Investigation Team, said: “I would urge all parents to make sure their child has a suitable cycle helmet on before they go out on their bike - just taking a few seconds to check this could mean the difference between a serious injury and a few cuts and bruises.

“Officers from Safer Neighbourhood Teams are trained to teach children how to cycle safely, and courses are often run during school holidays, contact your local SNT on 01284 774100.

“I would also urge all drivers to be aware of their surroundings, particularly whilst driving through housing estates where there may be many hazards - expect the unexpected and be on your guard.”

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