Mother of Cork hit-and-run toddler 'ecstatic' that he is walking again

Zach Higgins. Photo: Red FM.

A toddler who was diagnosed with a brain injury after he was knocked down in a hit and run in March is now able to walk.

Zac Higgins, from Mahon in Cork city, was diagnosed with a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) to the brain following the incident.

He is now walking, smiling and sitting up and is being transferred from Dublin to Cork for ongoing rehabilitation treatment.

The two-year-old was being cared for at Temple Street Hospital in Dublin for the brain injury.

His mother Aishling Sexton, says she is "ecstatic" that Zac is being transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for treatment.

"We will be able to have some sort of family life. He is walking. This is a child who couldn't hold his head three weeks ago. He is getting better every day.

"He has tremors but they are hoping to sort them in hospital in Cork. He is also on the waiting list for rehab in Dún Laoghaire so he will go there too."

Zac is now walking and smiling after the accident. Photo: Red FM.
Zac is now walking and smiling after the accident. Photo: Red FM.

Aishling is hugely grateful for the mass outpouring of support she, her husband and two other kids have received since the accident.

"I worked in Supervalu in Blackrock (in Cork) for 17 years and Paul is involved in Ringmahon Rangers but we didn't realise how many people we knew. I couldn't put into words what the support means. Our older son Max is very emotional about him coming back to Cork. He is ecstatic.

We just can't believe it. At one point we thought he wouldn't live and now he is coming back.

Thousands of people turned out for a fun day at Ringmahon Rangers football club in Cork on Easter Sunday raising €20,000 for Zac's continuing care.

Cork City FC also raised funds when they played the club in a friendly yesterday. Entry to the match was free with donations accepted for those who attend.

Zac incurred serious injuries after being knocked down when he ran on to the road while playing with a ball at Castle Meadows, in Mahon, Cork city, on March 25. He was hit by a blue Mazda 6 which left the scene.

A fundraising appeal was launched in March at Ringmahon Rangers in Mahon where Zac’s Dad Paul is a treasurer.

Representatives of the club say that the father of three has been active onsite since he was a child himself. He dedicates huge amounts of time to coaching four to six-year-olds in the area.

Paul and Aishlng have two other children Max (7) and Belle (4).

Meanwhile, gardaí are to forward a file to the DPP after releasing without charge a 17-year-old man arrested for questioning about the hit and run. They have also spoken to two of the three passengers they believe were in the car at the time.

Donations can be made to the Go Fund Me Page here.

Payments can also be made through any bank using the following details. IBAN: IE48MICI99222419052804. BIC-MICIIE21

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