Unbelievable recovery of little boy knocked down outside school

FAMILY: Joshua, left, and his big brother Robert, 10, who is raising money for a hospital charity while Joshua is being treated at the LGI.
FAMILY: Joshua, left, and his big brother Robert, 10, who is raising money for a hospital charity while Joshua is being treated at the LGI.

A boy who was knocked down outside his school is making an ‘unbelievable’ recovery after a life-saving operation.

Joshua Butler, seven, was hit outside Norristhorpe Junior and Infant School last Thursday at 3.45pm and was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary with a severe head injury.

An off-duty paramedic happened to be nearby and was able to help care for Joshua until the emergency services arrived.

His parents Jonathan and Julie Butler, who have been keeping a bedside vigil, were told Joshua could die if he did not have the surgery – and were also warned he could face brain damage after it.

His aunt, Diane McConnell, said surgeons carried out an operation to remove two blood clots on Friday, after which he was put on a ventilator and placed in an induced coma.

But by Monday Joshua showed signs of moving.

And incredibly, by Wednesday, he was eating, talking, climbing on his mum’s knee – and yesterday morning he was walking again.

He is now recovering in the children’s neurological ward.

Mrs McConnell: “It’s unbelievable. His parents have been to hell and back, but they are a lot better now they have seen progress. The surgeons said if Joshua didn’t have the operation he could die, but they said if he did have it there might be brain damage – he might not be able to walk or speak. They kept saying, ‘we need to take it one day at a time’.

“We just felt so sick.”

Mrs McConnell said Joshua’s dad Jonathan, a long distance driver, was on his way to Shropshire when he got a call about the accident.

She said: “The police arranged for an officer from Shropshire to drive him to Sandbach in Cheshire. Then PC Andy Howarth from Kirklees Police drove to Sandbach and brought him back. That was above and beyond the call of duty. They were wonderful.”

His parents have been staying at Eckersley House, a residential building in the grounds of LGI where parents of hospitalised children can stay free of charge while their children are treated.

Joshua’s big brother Robert, 10, has been busying himself raising money for Eckersley House with a special cake recipe.

Joshua’s family have thanked the paramedic, ambulance and air ambulance crews, LGI staff, friends and neighbours and staff at Eckersley House.

They also thanked police, Norristhorpe School headteacher Sal Armitage and his class teacher and classmates who made get well cards.

Mrs Armitage said the school had held a meeting about road safety on Wednesday. Letters would be sent to everyone in Norristhorpe to ask people’s opinions about what could be done to improve safety, and a plan would be put together with Kirklees Council’s help.