A PROUD mum has hailed her “warrior” son for his miracle fightback from horror injuries he suffered when he was hit by a car.
Sarah-Jayne Plunkett, 39, also paid tribute to hero medics who saved seven-year-old Stephen Edward Torley’s life with an extraordinary brain op.
Surgeons relieved deadly pressure on his skull by extracting two pieces of bone — then inserted them into his stomach until they were needed.
After waking from a three-week coma, the brave schoolboy had to learn to walk, talk and eat again.
But Sarah-Jayne told how she is delighted with Stephen Edward’s incredible progress since then.
She said: “If you ask him, ‘Show us your muscles’, he flexes his wee bicep.
“That’s why we call him ‘The Warrior’. He is a miracle. The doctors told us they had never seen someone with as many injuries as him still being alive.”
We told in October how the Primary 3 pupil was almost killed after being struck by a Ford Kuga near his home in Airdrie.
His catastrophic injuries included a fractured skull and pelvis, broken shoulder, broken leg and all 24 of his ribs were fractured.
Doctors at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children warned his parents he might not survive. Their main fear was that severe bruising inside his skull would prove fatal.
Explaining the amazing procedure that saved her lad, Sarah-Jayne said: “Stephen Edward’s brain could not have taken the damage caused by the pressure.
“The surgeons cut across his head and pulled his skin forward towards his eyebrows. They then drilled into his skull and cut out two bits of bone, which they put in his belly. They then pulled the skin back over the wound and stitched it up.”
As Stephen Edward recovered in an induced coma, harrowing photos showed the holes in his head covered by tape with a warning written on them saying: “No bone flap.”
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The two pieces of skull were kept “alive” in his abdomen until the bruising subsided and they were replaced in a second operation.
But the lad’s loved ones feared at first that he may not fully recover from his terrible ordeal.
Sarah-Jayne said: “When Stephen Edward woke from the coma, he was not able to make eye contact with us.
He is a miracle. The doctors told us they had never seen someone with as many injuries as him still being alive
“It was like he had basically been reborn, like a baby. He needs to learn how to walk again, talk, do the toilet, eat — everything.”
The barmaid added: “I was worried he may not recognise me but he does. He is progressing because he is giving hand gestures and knows what we’re saying to him.
“Gradually, he has been able to move his head towards us and give us the thumbs up and down. That is incredible progress.”
Stephen Edward still has a long way to go and will be in hospital for some time yet.
His mum and dad, Stephen Torley, 35, often stay at a local hotel and take turns providing 24-hour care at his bedside.
He is also visited by his twin Lily and older sister Caitlyn, 18. Sarah- Jayne said: “The doctors are very pleased with him. He can understand what’s being said and can make the hand movements as communication.
“He loves watching [Channel 4 sitcom] Friday Night Dinner with his dad. It has made him laugh every time we’ve put it on.
“The first time that happened, all the nurses crowded in to see him because it was so amazing.
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“Stephen Edward has also done the ‘Loser’ dance from computer game Fortnite, so he can remember that.
“He is getting his personality back — our boy is still there.”
An online appeal to help with the family’s travel and hotel costs has so far raised nearly £3,000. To donate, click here.
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