Easton: ‘Thank you for saving my boy’s life’ says grateful mother

Mother, Sharon Cunnell, who wants to thank people for aiding her son’s recovery after he was run ove

Mother, Sharon Cunnell, who wants to thank people for aiding her sons recovery after he was run over on the way home from school. Sharon Cunnell and William Barnes. - Credit: Archant

A grateful mother has offered heartfelt thanks to those who helped her family through the “nightmare” of a near-fatal road accident.

Sharon Cunnell said it was the “worst moment ever” when her 11-year-old son William was nearly killed in a collision with a car outside their Easton home.

“I was on the doorstep waiting with my granddaughter for him to come home,” she said.

“The bus pulled up and the next minute I heard there was a big screech, a massive thud and I just automatically knew that it was my son.

“I saw him flying in the air higher than the garden hedge before he landed on the ground.

“I thought William had died, I didn’t think he could have survived.”

William had been returning from Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham on September 24 when he was knocked unconscious by the force of the blow.

His distraught mother screamed for her partner Peter, rushed to her son’s side and found him lying motionless, not breathing, with a blue rim around his mouth.

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Sharon, 42, tilted his head back to clear his airway and heard a “gurgling” as he started to breathe again.

Peter, 51, who is disabled with a brain injury, collapsed through the shock and also needed medical treatment.

“It was total chaos – a nightmare,” Sharon said.

An air ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later and rushed William to Addenbrooke’s Hospital where he remained in intensive care on a ventilator for the next three weeks.

He suffered a “brain bleed” and a broken leg and still has a long way to go on the slow road to recovery.

“It was horrific,” said Sharon. “You see all these other children coming in to Addenbrooke’s who had been hit by vehicles – it was the worst thing that we’ve ever had to go through and I certainly wouldn’t want any other parent to have to go through the same thing.”

“You just don’t think it can happen to you until you are put in that situation, it was devastating.”

Sharon has thanked doctors Karen Smith and Julia Elson, from Wickham Market Medical Centre, who helped her son after the accident, the air ambulance medics whose swift treatment she credits for saving her son’s life and the staff at Addenbrooke’s and Ipswich Hospital where William spent seven weeks recovering.

“I just want to thank everybody from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

“He would not be here today without the help he was given.”

She has also praised the staff at Acorn House, where she stayed during William’s three weeks in intensive care.

Neighbours Suzy Bailey and Roderick Roy and his daughter have been thanked for their support throughout the ordeal.

Further thanks have been offered to Paul Spencer for his help raising funds to buy an iPad for William – who usually enjoys trampolining and football – to keep him entertained throughout his recovery.

An online fundraising appeal has been set up to cover the family’s bills and expenses associated with the accident.

To donate visit gogetfunding.com/project/william-barnes-support-fund