Cork mum praises 'miracle' son who survived hit-and-run

Zac Higgins, from Mahon in Cork city, was diagnosed with a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) to the brain after he was hit by a car in March.

Cork mum praises 'miracle' son who survived hit-and-run

A mother who nearly lost her youngest son in a hit and run incident outside his home in March has said that he is a "miracle" child who reached his third birthday today having defied the odds.

Zac Higgins, from Mahon in Cork city, was diagnosed with a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) to the brain after he was hit by a car in March. However, he continues to fight back from his injuries.

Zac went to the beach at the weekend with his parents Paul and Aishling and siblings Max and Belle. He was able to play in the sand and water. He is back home in Cork following several months at Temple Street Hospital in Dublin.

His mother Aishling Sexton, says that when Zac was first knocked down it was "touch and go" as to whether he would make his third birthday.

"He is a miracle, he really is. Now his speech isn't where it was and he has sensory issues but from where he was it is amazing. They think now it will be more learning difficulties. That is where the major issues will be because physically he has come on unbelievably.

He is the toughest little boy I know to battle against a severe brain injury and to have to relearn how to do all the basic things that we all take for granted every day.

Aishling says that nobody knows what the future holds for Zac. However, his personality shines through even in the midst of adversity.

"He really is the funniest character and we are lucky to call him our son. He is happy out. He has a big smile on his face and that is the main thing."

Her husband Paul said that Zac "smiled and battled through it all" from resuscitation in Cork University Hospital to 12 days in intensive care in Temple Street.

"From there to ward eight in Temple Street for eight weeks. You simply amaze us every day."

Paul says he and Aishling are grateful for the mass outpouring of support they have received since the accident.

Without our own family and friends we would have been lost and to the community of Mahon and afar thank you.

Zac is due to go to the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire for further treatment. He can walk but struggles with fine motor skills.

He 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 Paul is a treasurer.

Gardai have sent a file to the DPP after they released without charge a 17-year-old man arrested for questioning about the hit and run.

They have also spoken to two of the three people they believe were passengers in the car at the time.

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