THIS Christmas is set to be filled with extra cheer for the Butler family as they celebrate the recovery of little Joshua.
The Norristhorpe School pupil was waiting to cross the road outside his school on September 22 with his mum, Julie, and brother, Robert, 10, when he stepped in front of a car.
Julie said: “The next thing he was up about 10ft in the air right in front of me and Robert. I remember screaming and screaming. I went over to him and he was just lying at the side of the road. One of the mums is an off duty patient transport driver and she saw it happen so she came straight over.
“I remember ringing 999 and saying ‘get somebody here’. I knew Joshua was completely out of it. His eyes were rolling.”
Julie and Robert had to wait helplessly for the police and ambulance, who arrived within minutes.
The air ambulance was called and Julie and Robert were sent ahead with the police.
At Leeds General Infirmary Joshua had a brain scan. Julie said: “The doctor took me and my sister-in-law into a side room and told us it was quite bad. There was swelling on the brain and they had to put him in an induced coma so he couldn’t move and make the pressure worse. The doctor said ‘you need to get his dad here’. I felt sick, it was just awful.”
The boys’ father, Jonathan, a long distance lorry driver, was in Sandbach, so Shropshire and West Yorkshire Police worked together to get him to the hospital.
During the night the pressure on Joshua’s brain worsened and the following morning doctors decided to operate.
Julie said: “They said Joshua would die if he didn’t have the operation but they also told us he might not come out of it, he might be paralysed or brain damaged.
“Knowing your own child is going in for a life saving operation is horrendous. We were in one of the waiting rooms for about five hours – it was the longest time of our lives.
“You are just waiting about and trying to take your mind off it but of course you can’t.”
During the operation the doctors found bleeding on Joshua’s brain and removed parts of his skull to reduce the pressure.
Afterwards his medication was gradually reduced until he woke up three days later.
Julie said: “We were having a coffee and my sister rang me and said, ‘he has just woken up and he’s asking for his mummy’.
“That was the best thing we could have heard. We rushed to the ward and he was moving about – it was amazing.
“We were at his bedside all the time. One doctor said he couldn’t believe he was sitting up in bed. He said, ‘he is a miracle’.”
Joshua was discharged after less than two weeks and soon had a home tutor for five hours a week.
Joshua had his final operation on December 12 and was back at school part-time the same week. In January he will go back full time.
Julie said: “This is the worst experience of any parent’s life. It is hell.
“You don’t know if your child is going to live or die, and you don’t have a choice whether they go in for this operation.
“You don’t know whether they will come out of it, be paralysed, or brain damaged.
“Robert has taken it very well. He has done very well raising money for Eckersley House, where we stayed while Joshua was in hospital, and we are raising money for the air ambulance.
“We did a charity event with Joshua’s Beavers group in November for the air ambulance and raised £4,600. Beavers wanted to do it to say thank you for saving Joshua’s life.
“We want to say thank you to friends, family and everybody who has donated money for all their help and support. The school has been very good.
“We are now looking forward to having a normal family Christmas. We have got to move on.
“We have just been very lucky.”