Family of stab victim's ordeal

THE parents of a teenage stabbing victim have spoken of their son's ordeal – and his long-term goal to play professional football.Norwich City youth player Ben Goddard, 15, received a serious stab wound to his stomach during an incident at Stradbroke High School on May 9.

THE parents of a teenage stabbing victim have spoken of their son's ordeal – and his long-term goal to play professional football.

Norwich City youth player Ben Goddard, 15, received a serious stab wound to his stomach during an incident at Stradbroke High School on May 9.

Ben, who dreams of playing for his favourite team Manchester United, was readmitted to Ipswich Hospital 10 days ago and underwent a major operation on his pancreas last Wednesday.

His family said they wished to give their "deep and sincere" thanks to the medical staff who have cared for him over the past five weeks.


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Ben's mother Eileen Hollis, 42, said: "The work they have done is unbelievable and we cannot thank them enough. The support Ben has been given has been fantastic."

The talented striker, who lives in Redlingfield, near Eye, with his grandmother, Sylvia Goddard, and uncle, Andrew, first went home from hospital on May 19 but was readmitted to intensive care within 24 hours.

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He was allowed home again but after feeling unwell was admitted to hospital for a third time on Monday of last week. Scans showed a slit in his pancreas and surgeons operated on Ben for a second time.

The operation lasted about five hours and Ben is recovering on a general ward.

His father Terry Goddard, 44, from Stradbroke, said: "We don't yet know when he will be able to come out of hospital, but he's coping very well and is in good spirits.

"It's been a difficult time for all of us, but Ben has been very brave. He has made a lot of friends and we're very proud of him."

Ben has to be wired up to a machine for five hours at a time, with an hour's break in-between, to give him extra food.

But he has been cheered by hundreds of messages and cards of support, including a Norwich City shirt signed by his team-mates.

Mr Goddard said it would be a long road back to full fitness for his son, who has been a member of the academy at Carrow Road for three years.

He was spotted playing for his youth side in Bressingham and offered a place after scoring two goals in a trial match against rivals Ipswich Town, who were also interested in signing him.

"It might take him a year to get back to full fitness, but he is determined to do it," his father added.

Mr Goddard, an agricultural engineer, said Ben's family, including his brother Lee, 21, and sister Kelly, 19, would like to thank everyone who had helped Ben.

He said they are indebted to staff at the school, Dr Jim Morris, from Stradbroke Medical Practice, who helped before paramedics arrived, and the ambulance crew.

He thanked staff at Ipswich Hospital and offered "undying thanks and gratitude" to surgeons, David Rae, Isam Osman and Simon Huddy, and their medical teams.

Mr Goddard also praised the intensive care unit and offered thanks to staff on Bergholt ward, where Ben is receiving treatment.

He added: "Many thanks to everyone for all the cards, gifts and telephone message and enquiries about him. Our deepest thanks to you all."

n A 15-year-old boy has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in relation to the incident.

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